Compressor-free refrigerator may loom in the future

. From Compressor-free refrigerator may loom in the future at Penn State Engineering via Slashdot:
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University Park, Pa. - Refrigerators and other cooling devices may one day lose their compressors and coils of piping and become solid state, according to Penn State researchers who are investigating electrically induced heat effects of some ferroelectric polymers.

"This is the first step in the development of an electric field refrigeration unit," says Qiming Zhang, distinguished professor of electrical engineering. "For the future, we can envision a flat panel refrigerator. No more coils, no more compressors, just solid polymer with appropriate heat exchangers."
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kelseymh9 years ago
We already have Peltier effect devices, right? I guess the argument here is that ferroelectrics and electropolymers can be scaled up to more "industrial" levels, where Peltier-based devices are thin-film, and therefore limited in their total heat capacity. I wish I knew more solid-state (nowadays called "condensed matter") physics...
bumpus9 years ago
Yay State Collage! I'll be attending a few PSU football games this year! :D