Abstract

This paper presents the design, fabrication approach, and initial results on the development of an active composite fabric comprising a system of energy-efficient micro-miniature vapor-compression heat pumps to form integrated mesoscopic cooler circuits (IMCCs). Wafer-scale microfabrication, traditional volume processes such as injection molding, and new layered fabrication techniques have been combined with a scale-efficient vapor-compression cycle. The resulting IMCC offers significant improvements in cooling efficiency over normal-scale refrigeration. The flexible polymer-based IMCC patches may be interconnected to form distributed fault-tolerant refrigeration circuits for a wide variety of applications. Potential applications include microclimate control for military, space, and fire fighting personnel, on-board/chip cooling of electronic devices, medical applications requiring highly localized and/or efficient temperature control, and automotive comfort control devices.

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