After five years of research, scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles have achieved a breakthrough in film cooling technology. The order came from ARPA-E, the work was carried out in the interests of the US Department of Energy. The main goal is to provide a new way to cool many types of electronic devices, from office to wearable.
The principle of application of electric heater films is based on their ability to change their temperature when voltage is applied. The film acts as a coolant and moves in a circle between the heated part and the heat sink. The ability to control the temperature of the film using external signals makes the heat transfer process very effective, and most importantly, safe and not energy-intensive.
Alas, a single film drive can only provide cooling by 2.7 degrees Celsius, but this is the limit of the capabilities of these films. The solution to the problem was proposed by Dr. Yuan Meng, who combined two films into one block, placing them in antiphase. These blocks are assembled in a cascade in order to reuse the capacitive charges and reduce energy costs. Each new layer in the cascade increases the cooling potential – the system is easily scalable for different purposes.
The solution turned out to be very successful, only 4 layers of blocks in the cascade provided cooling of the experimental object by 8.8 degrees. And since we are talking about thin films, the thickness of the entire assembly did not exceed 1 cm. That is, such a miniature cooler can be inserted, for example, into the pocket of a backpack in which the tablet is carried. In the future, scientists promise to make cascade coolers in addition flexible and silent.