One fifth of global electricity consumption is from air conditioning and is a significant contributor to global warming. A more environmentally friendly development from the University of Texas has emerged and is based on twisting and untwisting fibres. The method known as ‘twistocaloric cooling’ or ‘elastocaloric cooling’ works by twisting a yarn or fibre causing an increase in it’s temperature which is used to heat a surrounding flowing liquid such as water. Untwisting causes the temperature to decrease therefore cooling a surrounding flowing liquid.
The team at Texas University have already successfully demonstrated twist-based refrigeration with materials ranging from rubber to fishing line to nickel titanium wire – results are published in the journal ‘Science’. (One of which is up to 16.4 degrees C of cooling).
Dr Ray Baughman at Texas University predicts Twist Fridges will be smaller and lighter than the cooling units used in traditional fridges. Efficiency is also better at 67% compared with 60% of today’s units.
This technology is very much welcomed as it is more efficient using less electricity, and does not employ refrigerants, of which both effect global warming.
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