You ever work on the hot side of the plant and get that little pay bump for your trouble. Maybe you work at a foundry, or maybe your just like me and try to preemptively work off your lunch at the gym, only to return a flop-sweating nightmare who needs a fan, but only at a low setting so it doesn't mist the bossman sitting behind him.
Well, thanks to Penn State material scientists, we could soon be sporting our own lightweight cooling units, and hey they're not even toxic.
Electrocaloric materials are nanostructured materials that change temperature when an electric field is applied. Previously attempts at cooling materials have either been too rigid or fragile, or they required a little too much juice to be fit for humans. And others products used lead or other environmentally harmful coolants.
So the Penn State researchers looked at creating a nanowire material that was flexible, easily manufactured and environmentally friendly and could cool with a safe electric field.
As reported in a recent issue of Advanced Materials, their nanowire array can cool about 5.5 degrees Fahrenheit using 36 volts, which is safe, but the 500-gram battery pack is the size of an iPad and only powers the material for two hours. So maybe not suitable for all commercial uses yet.
The solid state personal cooling system may one day become the norm in firefighting gear or other wearables.
This is IEN Now.