Students Study Miniature Cooling Devices

A miniaturized cooling system being studied could make it possible to safely transport biological tissue and organs to remote areas without electricity.

At the same time, this proposed novel cooling system could have an immense impact in the medical field for patients suffering from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, whose mobility is impaired due to their sensitivity to temperature changes.

Research of this thermally activated miniaturized cooling system is being funded by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

In all, 11 students will receive a total of $103,000 through ASHRAE's grants-in-aid program, which is designed to encourage students to continue their education in preparation for service in the HVACR industry.

The recipients were chosen by the society's Research Administration Committee at ASHRAE's recent 2006 Winter Meeting in Chicago. The grants are awarded to full-time graduate students of ASHRAE-related technologies.

"These mass-producible, modular, and portable cooling systems are expected to offer revolutionary means of cooling at the small scale under environmentally challenging conditions," said researcher Matthew Determan, of Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.

According to Determan, this system would consist of a microchannel-based compact absorption heat pump for use as a miniaturized heat pump. The system could be used for hazardous-duty vehicular cooling, electronic control units, and personal cooling systems for chemical response teams, he said.


Other recipients of ASHRAE grants and their research titles are:

  • Vladimir Vukovic, of Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.: "Real-Time Determination of Indoor Pollutant Source Location."

  • Lalit Kumar Bohra, of Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta: "Fundamental Understanding of Heat and Mass Transfer in the Ammonia-Water Absorber."

  • Matthew Rooke, of Pennsylvania State: "Demand Controlled Ventilation for Multiple Space Systems with Independent Room and Occupant Ventilation Requirements."

  • Margaret Mathison, Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind.: "Modeling and Testing of a Twin Rotary Compressor."

  • Andreas Nicolai, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.: "Numerical Simulation of Coupled Heat, Moisture and Salt Transport and Phase Transition Processes with Respect to Durability of Building Materials and Components."

  • Nandha Kumar Manoharan, of University of Michigan-Dear-born: "Mobile Ericsson Heat Pump."

  • Sheryll Jerez, of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: "Quantification of Ventilation Effectiveness for Air Quality Control in Plant and Animal Environments."

  • Marcin Pazera, of Syracuse University: "Model-Based Characterization of Construction Materials for Hygric Performance Evaluation."

    Pazera received the ASHRAE Life Member Club Award for having the highest rated grant-in-aid application. This grant is supported by a financial contribution from the club.

  • Stefan Bertsch, of Purdue: "Heat Pumps for Northern Climates."

  • Thomas Baummer, of University of Maryland, College Park: "A Self-Contained System for Thermal Management of High Heat-Flux Electronics."

    Publication date: 03/13/2006

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