Passive cooling demonstrator by MIT. Photo Credit: MIT

Technology USA22. December 2022

This Cooling System Requires Zero Electricity

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an American university, developed its latest version of passive cooling, a technology that doesn’t require electricity and very little maintenance.

Under the leadership of post-doctoral researcher Zhengmao Lu, the team managed to achieve passive cooling up to 9.3 degrees Celsius by combining two standalone passive cooling technologies then adding thermal insulation.

Each 10 cm across box contains three layers of material. The top one is made of aerogel, a sponge-like structure made from polyethylene with air in its cavities. The second layer is made of hydrogel, and it is similar to the first layer, except the cavities are filled with water. The third one is a mirror-like layer that reflects incoming light to redirect it to the other components. That way, the device’s components don’t heat up and the contents remain cool. When the second layer is heated, the water turns into vapor, rises upward, and takes along some of the heat. With this system, food can be stored 40% longer under humid conditions and thrice longer under dryer conditions.

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