High-performance cooling and heat pumping based on fatigue-resistant elastocaloric effect in compression

Joule. 2022 Oct 19;6(10):2338-2357. doi: 10.1016/j.joule.2022.08.011.


In recent years, elastocaloric cooling has shown great potential as an alternative to vapor-compression refrigeration. However, there is still no existing elastocaloric device that offers fatigue-resistant operation and yet high cooling/heat-pumping performance. Here, we introduce a new design of an elastocaloric regenerator based on compression-loaded Ni-Ti tubes, referred to as a shell-and-tube-like elastocaloric regenerator. Our regenerator design, which can operate in both cooling and heat-pumping modes, enables durable operation and record performance with a maximum temperature span of 31.3 K in heat-pumping mode or maximum heating/cooling powers of more than 60 W, equivalent to 4,400 W/kg of the elastocaloric material (at temperature span of 10 K). In terms of both maximum performance metrics, these results surpass all previously developed caloric (magnetocaloric, electrocaloric, and elastocaloric) devices and demonstrate the enormous potential of compression-loaded elastocaloric regenerators to be used in elastocaloric devices for a wide range of cooling and heat-pumping applications.

Keywords: Ni–Ti; caloric cooling; compressive loading; efficiency; elastocaloric effect; fatigue; shape-memory alloys; tubes.