Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cool Molecules

A new idea for refrigeration.

The method works by repeatedly applying an electric field to long molecules called polar polymers.

Conventional refrigeration and air conditioning work by compressing a refrigerant, which grows cold as it is allowed to rapidly expand.

The new method instead takes its cooling power from the ordering and disordering of the polymers......In an electric field, the molecules spontaneously line up, creating heat. Removing the field causes the polymers to cool down again....

Change is rare in this field.

"The refrigeration industry has had a solution that works for the last 100 years, so innovation teams are usually quite small."

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