Design of an apparatus to measure mechanocaloric effects

Student: William Lenderink

Mentor: Benjamin White


The temperatures of some materials change in response to external stimuli including applied pressure, electric fields, and magnetic fields. These are examples of i-caloric effects and they are potentially useful for designing solid-state cooling technology. Such technology could supersede traditional vapor compression refrigeration, which is energy inefficient. Refrigeration and cooling/air-conditioning constitutes approximately 20.7% of US annual electricity consumption in the residential sector and 25.8% in the commercial sector according to 2018 data from the US Energy Information Administration. Solid-state cooling, which is more energy efficient, could reduce this consumption. Uncovering new i-caloric materials with suitable properties for use in new refrigeration technology necessitates measuring their i-caloric properties. In this presentation, a design for an apparatus to measure mechanocaloric effects is discussed. Mechanocaloric effects, which are a subset of i-caloric effects, occur when a material is either under applied pressure or stress. The apparatus is designed to measure the temperature of the sample material while compressed in a hydraulic press. Meaningful measurement of the temperature change of the sample requires it to be housed within a thermally insulating, but compressible cell. In addition, temperature measurements must be taken such as to allow for the calculation of entropic change due to the mechanocaloric effect, by minimizing change in temperature due to measurement. Measurements performed with such an apparatus could potentially lead to the discovery of new mechanocaloric materials that could be used in developing practical cooling methods with less energy consumption than conventional methods.


1 thought on “Design of an apparatus to measure mechanocaloric effects”

  1. Nice work on this, Quinn. I’m curious to hear more about the mechanocaloric effects of elastomers, and what aspects of these you would be most interested in studying once the apparatus you are designing is available for use?

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