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Ferroelectric polarpolymers will chill your beer, save the planet

Joseph L. Flatley
September 13, 2008
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Sure, you want to keep that keg of Natural Ice you scored nice and cold, but what did Al Gore say about global warming? According to Professor Qiming Zhang and Penn State University, we can see a more eco-friendly kegerator appliance on the horizon -- courtesy of the growing field of ferroelectric polarpolymers. Instead of relying on gasses similar to Freon, a process which can only be performed with energy-intensive compressors and heating coils, the new kegerators will rely on something called magnetic field refrigeration. In magnetic field refrigeration, electricity is introduced to a polarpolymer, causing the usually disordered molecules of the polarpolymer to become highly ordered. As this happens, heat is dispersed and the material grows cold. When the electricity is switched off this process reverses itself. And this doesn't just mean more fun for the college crowd: someday Zhang predicts this technology will be used in everything from self-cooling gear for firefighters to chilling your CPU.

[Via The Future Of Things]


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