When I think of mini-refrigerators and college I think of beer, which is one way to cool things down. But maybe these researchers at Purdue will change that. They are working to create a mini-refrigeration unit small enough to cool laptops and personal computers.
The Purdue research focuses on learning how to design miniature components called compressors and evaporators, which are critical for refrigeration systems. The researchers developed an analytical model for designing tiny compressors that pump refrigerants using penny-size diaphragms and validated the model with experimental data. The elastic membranes are made of ultra-thin sheets of a plastic called polyimide and coated with an electrically conducting metallic layer. The metal layer allows the diaphragm to be moved back and forth to produce a pumping action using electrical charges, or “electrostatic diaphragm compression.
Certainly any advances in keeping laptop and mobile computers from being gonad grillers will be an improvement, so here’s hoping they will overcome the obstacles to make this feasible in the future.