MIT researchers have found an effective way to make a refrigerator without electricity

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have advanced the technology used for passive cooling, or making refrigerators without electricity, to a new level.

BingMag.com MIT researchers have found an effective way to make a refrigerator without electricity

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have advanced the technology used for passive cooling, or making refrigerators without electricity, to a new level.

The system developed by the team combines two existing separate passive cooling technologies and by adding thermal insulation provides significant cooling, which has not been achieved before.

This system not only eliminates the need to dig a hole underground to build a refrigerator without electricity, but the only maintenance required is adding water, and even the frequency of its repetition depends on the humidity of the area. /p>

How it works

Researchers tested this technology on the roof of a building at MIT with 10 cm wide boxes. T-meters, which are very similar to a solar panel.

The developed devices consist of three layers of material that do the dual role of cooling water as well as passing heat. The top layer of "Aerogel" is a sponge-like structure based on polyethylene with air trapped in the holes. Although the nature of this material is insulating, it allows water vapor and infrared rays to pass through.

Underneath the airgel, there is a layer of "hydrogel" or "water gel", which is a sponge-like material. It is like a hole filled with water. Finally, a mirror-like layer reflects all incoming light to the other components of the device so that they are heated instead of the contents of the storage box.

When the water in the hydrogel is heated, it turns into water vapor. , it moves upwards and carries some heat with it. The steam can also pass through the air, and on the other hand, the emission of infrared rays, as a radiant cooler, transfers some of the device's heat directly to the air.

According to the researchers, the cooling done in this way can be used to preserve food. It can be used for 40% longer than in humid conditions and three times longer than in dry conditions.

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A barrier to commercialization

This technology can also be used to cool air conditioning compressors and reduce the load they carry. This work increases the efficiency of the air conditioner and leads to energy savings. However, there is a major hurdle before this technology can be commercially produced.

Previous attempts to use passive cooling have met with limited success because the evaporative materials used in They heat up in the sun and can't get enough cooling. But for the better efficiency of this experiment, the airgel used by the MIT team was developed, which has an expensive production process.

The solvents used in making the airgel must be removed slowly without damaging its structure. This process is possible with special critical point drying (CPD) equipment and increases costs.

For this reason, researchers are now identifying low-cost methods such as freeze drying or using alternative materials to avoid the need for CPD, reduce costs.

Cover photo: Passive cooling at MIT
Credit: MIT

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