Miniature Refrigeration Unit

File # MEC No 2008
Description The miniature refrigerator consists of a dc operated, noise-and vibration-free unconventional microprocessor-controlled compressor (HYCOM) which is the key component operating a conventional compression/condensation refrigeration system. The system operates optionally between 2 and 12 volts and at currents of 2 to 4 amps. Sub-freezing temperatures can be achieved by selecting appropriate fluids.

The components identified in the adjacent schematic illustrating a microprocessor chip refrigeration unit are:

  • 1 - heat source (microprocessor chip)
  • 2 - thermal transfer plate
  • 3 - HYCOM
  • 4 - compressed refrigerant
  • 5 - condenser
  • 6 - expander
  • 7 - valve
  • 8 - power conditioning/control unit
  • 9 - line power
  • 10 - regulated dc current to the HYCOM
  • 11 - Sensor signals (temperature, pressure)
Advantages Since the HYCOM is an efficient compressor, the systems COP can exceed values of 2 3. Another significant feature of this type of cooling system is the ability to distribute the HYCOM components to convenient locations to meet space constraints.
Applications The system is particularly well-suited for thermal loads below 100 watts, an operating range where electromechanical compressors are inefficient.

Applications include:

  • Thermal Management of:
    • Electronic processors
    • Electronic circuitry
    • Power supplies
State of Development Experimental evaluation of HYCOM as compressor and actuator. Needs system integration and evaluation. Publications.
Rights Available Exclusive or non-exclusive.
Support Technology developed. Technical assistance available.
Patent Status Pending and U.S. # 4,402,817; 4,522,698; 4,648,955; 5,149,413; 5,334,304; 5,417,822
Key Words Electrochemical cell, fuel cell, micro-power sources, air electrodes, oxygen generators, oxygen extractors.
Contact Dr. Henri Maget (ext.14) or Steve Swanson (ext.11)

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