Boeing has recently completed an evaluation of a new technology called Cool Chips that could provide lighter, more efficient and more affordable cooling systems in the future.
Cool Chips are a form of vacuum diode that pumps heat from one side of the chip to the other and provides localised cooling and refrigeration. The technology is solid state and operates silently without the use of motors or environmentally unfriendly fluids.
The evaluation, conducted under an agreement with Cool Chips plc, a subsidiary of Borealis Exploration Limited (BOREF), showed that the principles under which the new Cool Chips technology operate are sound, that the measured physical data complied with the theory, and that further development and evaluation are needed.
Because they are smaller and lighter than competing technologies, and promise greater efficiency, Cool Chips have potential applications for thermal management in aircraft and spacecraft, where size, weight and power requirements are at a premium. Such applications include the cooling of avionics, sensors, environmental air and galleys.
The Boeing Phantom Works, the advanced R&D unit of Boeing, conducted the Cool Chips evaluation. Under the terms of the agreement with Cool Chips plc, Boeing has the right of first refusal on this new technology for aerospace applications.