Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

’Green’ chiller technology rolled out for Earth day

22.04.2004


Penn State acousticians put their new prototype for a compact chiller, based on "green" technology that substitutes sound waves for environment-damaging chemical refrigerants, on first public display in conjunction with Earth Day in New York City.



The roll-out took place at a Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop in New York City where the chiller was hooked up to a standard ice cream sales freezer cabinet and successfully kept the creamy merchandise in delicious condition. Ben & Jerry’s partnered with Penn State, with financial and scientific support from its parent company, Unilever, to develop a more environmentally friendly prototype freezer cabinet.

Dr. Steven Garrett, the United Technologies Corporation professor of acoustics at Penn State who leads the thermoacoustic chiller research team, says, "We expect this new compact approach to thermoacoustic chillers to be used first in applications that are difficult for chemical refrigeration, such as beverage vending machines, cooling microprocessor chips in computers and, of course, ice cream sales cabinets.


"If chemical refrigerants are banned due to global warming effects, then it will be more likely that thermoacoustic refrigeration will start appearing in kitchens and home air conditioners if cheap manufacturing methods for these products can be developed," he adds. The team that developed the new thermoacoustic chiller at Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory, included Garrett, Dr. Matthew Poese, who in his recent master’s and doctoral degree work under Garrett’s direction helped lead the way to the new chiller, and Robert W. Smith, ARL research engineer and co-inventor, who has worked with Garrett’s group on thermoacoustic projects for the past eight years.

Garrett explains that conventional refrigeration uses chemicals, such as CFCs and HFCs that absorb heat when they turn from liquid to vapor. The chemicals that work best also damage the atmosphere. In 1995, the Montreal Protocols instituted a worldwide ban on CFC production because of damage to the ozone layer that protects Earth from harmful radiation that causes skin cancer and cataracts. HFCs were introduced to replace CFCs but they contribute to global warming.

The Penn State thermoacoustic chiller uses helium gas instead of chemical refrigerants. Helium, which is used to keep birthday party balloons aloft, doesn’t burn, explode or combine with other chemicals. If released into the atmosphere, helium drifts harmlessly into outer space.

The Penn State chiller takes advantage of helium’s inertness and high thermal conductivity as well as the fact that a sound wave is a rapid succession of compressions and expansions of the gas that carries it.

"When a gas is compressed, its heats up. When it expands, it cools down," Garrett explains. "In thermoacoustics, we arrange the compressions and expansions so that all of the heat of compression is deposited at one end of the system where it can be exhausted into the room. We arrange for all of the expansions to occur at a different location where the cooling due to expansion can be used to refrigerate ice cream, for example. Our compact unit also makes this happen with no mechanical valves or cams or linkages."

The thermoacoustic chiller is patented by Penn State and negotiations for a license are in progress with a start-up company formed to commercialize the technology.

Barbara Hale | Penn State
Further information:
http://live.psu.edu/story/6526

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>