Scientists have successfully managed to create a smart skin patch that can cool or warm the wearer – and this could save people thousands of dollars in utility bills.
A two-inch square device acts as a personal thermostat, which, using a flexible, stretchable battery, can send hot and cold electrical impulses to any part of the body, simulating a warm hand lightening. In winter, fire in winter or water spray.
University of California researchers at San Diego believe this will help people save money and energy in air conditioning and heating.
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“This type of device can improve your personal thermal comfort, whether you're working hot "Whether you're feeling too cold in the office," he said research leader Professor Renkun Chen, a university mechanic
The patch described in Science Advances is made of thermoelectric alloys that use electricity on average. These alloys are soldered into thin copper electrode strips between elastomeric sheets, specially designed to provide heat until they are still soft and resilient.
The group has created sheets of blended aluminum nitride powder, high thermal conductivity, and
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Then the patch uses electric current to transfer heat from one elastomeric sheet to another ̵
First author Sahngki Hong, who worked in the project as prof. Chen's PhD student said, "You can put [this device] in places that tend to warm up or cool faster than the rest of the body, such as back, neck, legs or arms to stay comfortable when it gets too hot or cold. . For example, in the summer set a 12-degree higher temperature, which would reduce cooling costs by about 70%, said Chen
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"If you wear this appliance more comfortably in a wider temperature range, you will no longer need to operate the thermostat in summer and turn on the heat as needed. in winter, ”he said.
There are many personal cooling and heating devices on the market, such as fans and hot water bottles, but they are not the most comfortable to wear or wear.
That's why Chen and colleagues designed the patch to be comfortable, flexible, lightweight, easy to wear and comfortable to wear.
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to test a project, the researcher has embedded a patch prototype in a mesh and tested it on a male subject in a controlled environment. Within two minutes it cooled down the skin to 89.6 degrees Celsius – keeping it at ambient temperatures ranging from 71.6 to 96.8
"To cool down, the current heat of the pump from the skin side to the outer layer. In order to do the heating, we just turn the current to the other side of the heat pumps, ”Chen said.
One patch uses up to 0.2 watts of power. The Chen team estimates that the refrigeration vest will require 144 fixes. This would amount to about 26 watts in total to maintain an average hot day.
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very hot, up to 80 watts, ie how much a laptop uses. By comparison, the traditional air-conditioning system uses tens of kilowatts to cool the entire office, so energy saving is individual cooling than a large room, the researchers said.
"If there are only a few passengers in that room, you basically consume thousands of watts per person to cool. A device such as a patch can dramatically reduce cooling bills, ”says Chen
. They hope they will be commercialized in the next few years
"We've solved the major problems. Now we are dealing with major engineering issues – electronics, hardware, and mobile application development to control temperature, "Chen said.
Be confident and share good innovations with friends on social media – Photo by David Baillot / UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering