A test road-cooling method for 2020 marathon is being tested

Researchers have tested water-laden panels covered with grass in an experiment aimed at cooling ground surfaces. The goal is to counter the severe heat expected for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon events. A group of university and corporate environmental researchers carried out the experiment on Monday on a sidewalk in the capital's Nihonbashi district. The path is along a part of the marathon course. They placed highly water-retentive panels covered with grass on 2 sections of the walkway. One section was 13 meters long and the other was 9 meters. The researchers say the panels can hold12 liters of water per square meter. They say the panels' cooling effect comes from water evaporation, just as the ground is cooled by rain or sprinkled water. The researchers used special camera images to check if the surface temperature of the grass was lower than that of the nearby paved road. The group says it verified the cooling effect, and will call for the method to be used along the marathon course in 2 years. Professor Kentaro Iijima of Tokyo City University said the gradual evaporation of the water in the panels enhances the cooling effect of the grass.

posted Monday August 6th