R&D: Thermoelastic cooling

Researchers at the University of Maryland are developing a new "thermally elastic" metal alloy for use in advanced refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. This two-state alloy alternately absorbs or creates heat in much the same way as a compressor-based system but uses far less energy. According to researchers, it could make it possible to increase cooling efficiency by 175% compared with current vapour-compression systems. The University of Maryland - which received a 500000 USD grant from US Department of Energy - will develop a 35 kW prototype with the goal of establishing the commercial viability of thermoelastic cooling. www.mse.umd.edu/news/news_story.php?id=5007