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 From:  Jim Thompson <jim at netgate dot com>
 To:  Craig FALCONER <cfalconer at avonside dot school dot nz>
 Cc:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch, Jamie Thompson <jamie at netgate dot com>
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] Hardened Platform -40C to +85C
 Date:  Sun, 30 Jul 2006 13:23:10 -1000
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jim Thompson [mailto:jim at netgate dot com] 
> Sent: Monday, 31 July 2006 6:31 a.m.
> To: Paul Dugas
> Cc: m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
> Subject: Re: [m0n0wall] Hardened Platform -40C to +85C
>     1) paint (or powder coat) it a light color.  There is far less heat 
> gain from solar heating for a box painted a light color than one that is 
> painted a dark color.

Craig FALCONER wrote:
> Would shiny chrome (mirrorlike reflectivity) be any better than a
> white-painted case?
(We're now so far off the subject-matter of this list that I'm 
embarrassed to be responding.)

The simple answer, "No."

The problem with chrome is that it has a low heat emissivity. Emissivity 
is the ability for an object to release radiant heat. In layman's terms, 
emissivity is the ability for radiant heat to leave the surface of an 
object. It matters not what the density, mass or thickness of the 
object, only the surface. The lower the emissivity, the more difficult 
it is for heat to leave itsí surface. This why a chrome car bumper is 
hotter than one painted black if left to sit several hours in the sun.

Most paints emit in the .90 range which is very high. (See below) Chrome 
has an "E" value of .05. It will take that chrome bumper longer to get 
hot due the high reflectivity value, but the low emissivity of chrome 
"traps" the heat making it much hotter than the same bumper painted black.

Another example is leaving your toolbox open to the sun while doing car 
repairs. Ever try to pick up a chrome socket or ratchet handle? How 
about a chrome car door handle or the chrome ignition starter on the 
steering column? The low 'E value' of chrome prevents the absorbed heat 
from escaping making chromed items very hot when left in the sun.

This is also why black chrome solar hot water panels provide hotter 
water than panels painted flat black. Black chrome will take a little 
longer to get hot, but once it does, the low E selective surface traps 
heat in the absorber which in turn transfers it through conduction into 
the water passages.

In technical terms:

emissivity: The relative power of a surface to emit heat by radiation. 
The ratio of
the radiant energy emitted by a surface to that emitted by a blackbody
at the same temperature

black body: an ideal body or surface that completely absorbs all radiant 
falling upon it with no reflection and that radiates at all frequencies 
a spectral energy distribution dependent on its absolute temperature

As can be seen below, emissivity (E factor), plays a significant role in 
how heat moves into or out of our homes, our cars, our firewalls, and 
... our bodies.

Material Emissivity value

Gold, polished .03
Metalized Film Radiant Barrier .04
Silver, polished .04
Chrome .05
Aluminum, polished .04
oxidized .78
Brass, polished .04
oxidized .61
Iron, polished .21
oxidized .69
Copper, polished .05
oxidized .78
Human skin .98

Wood .95
Glass .94
Paint, average of 16 colors .94
Brick, common red .93
Concrete .92
Plaster, rough coat .91
> (rice my firewall anyone?)
Not if you want the heat to get out. Now, if you were to encase your 
firewall in human skin...