According to foreign media reports, scientists have developed a skin patch that can cool or heat the wearer. According to reports, this two inch skin patch works like a personalized thermostat, which can be used at home, office or on the road. Because it is soft enough to be embedded in clothes, it can make people feel comfortable no matter how the weather is. It will send cold and hot pulse current to any part of the body, just like a hand heated by fire in winter or splashing water on the face in summer. The team said the scalable battery would help save energy for air conditioning and heating.
“Whether you are commuting in hot weather or feeling too cold in the office, this type of equipment can improve your personal thermal comfort,” said Professor renkun Chen, research director and Mechanical Engineer at the University of California, San Diego
According to reports, thermoelectric alloy is a kind of material that uses electricity to create temperature. The patch described in scientific progress is made of thermoelectric alloy. They are welded to a thin copper electrode strip and sandwiched between elastic elastomer sheets, which can physically cool or heat the skin according to personal choice.
“You can tend to heat or cool this point faster than other parts of the body, such as the back of the body, the neck, feet or arms, and then maintain a comfortable temperature when it’s too hot or too cold,” said sahngki Hong, a doctoral student in Professor Chen’s lab
Professor Chen said: “for example, it can help buildings maintain a high set temperature of 12 degrees in summer, thus reducing the cooling cost by about 70%. If you can wear this device to make you feel comfortable in a larger temperature range, then you don’t need to turn the thermostat down or the heater up as much in summer as in winter. “
There are all kinds of cooling and heating devices on the market, but they are not the most convenient to wear or carry. Some people use fans, some need to be soaked or filled with water and other liquids to reduce the temperature. Professor Chen and his colleagues designed it to be comfortable and convenient, so it can be easily integrated into clothes.
The researchers embedded the prototype patch into the webbed armband and tested men in a temperature controlled environment. In two minutes, his skin cooled to 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit (about 32 degrees Celsius), while the ambient temperature was 71.6 to 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit (about 22 to 36 degrees Celsius). The ultimate goal is to combine multiple patches to create smart clothing that can be used for personalized cooling and heating. As a result, engineers designed a soft electronic patch that can stretch, bend and twist without affecting its electronic function.
According to reports, elastomer sheets are specially designed to conduct heat while being soft and elastic. Because they are made by mixing rubber called ecoflex with aluminum nitride powder, a chemical with high thermal conductivity, they allow the patch to use current to move heat from one elastomer sheet to another, warming one side of the patch and cooling the other.
“For cooling purposes, we transfer the current pump heat from one side of the skin to the outer facing layer,” Chen explained. In order to heat, we just need to reverse the current to another direction of the heat pump. ” A chip is about 2 square inches (5-5cm) in size and consumes up to 0.2W. Professor Chen’s team estimates 144 patches will be needed to make a cooling vest. This will use about 26 watts to keep individuals cool in average hot weather.
During the extreme heat, this will reach 80 watts, which is about the number of laptops used. In contrast, traditional air-conditioning systems use tens of kilowatts to cool the entire office. Lowering a person’s temperature is more energy efficient than a large room, researchers say.
“If there are only a few people in that room, then you basically need to consume several kilowatts of cooling capacity per person, and devices like patches can significantly reduce the cost of cooling,” Chen said The team is now developing patches that can be built into prototype cooling and heating vests, and they hope to commercialize the technology within a few years. Professor Chen added: “we have solved the fundamental problem, and now we are solving the major engineering problems: electronics, hardware and the development of mobile applications to control temperature.”