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Enhanced Electrocaloric Effect for Refrigeration and Heat Pumps

ID# 2017-4685

Technology Summary

A novel PVDF-based electrocaloric (EC) polymer was produced which increases electrocaloric (EC) cooling significantly at electric fields below 70 MV/m. The compositions generate high EC responses over a broad temperature range, as characterized by a large adiabatic temperature cooling under a lower electric field, compared with P(VDF-TrFE-CFE) and P(VDF-TrFE-CTFE) terpolymers. The reduction of the applied field increases the suitability of these EC polymers for commercial products.

Application & Market Utility

Currently available self-sustaining polymers achieve EC cooling under fields near the dielectric breakdown, an electric field that will cause device failure. The novel polymer films described here can be implemented into refrigeration units for a more efficient, quieter and compact alternative to vapor compression cycle refrigeration units. The novel polymer films also have the potential for zero direct global warming refrigeration. They may create smaller, quieter heat pump systems requiring less maintenance than current compression systems.

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