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Heat flowing from cold to hot without external intervention by using a “thermal inductor”


Schilling, A; Zhang, X; Bossen, O (2019). Heat flowing from cold to hot without external intervention by using a “thermal inductor”. Science Advances, 5(4):eaat9953.

Abstract

The cooling of boiling water all the way down to freezing, by thermally connecting it to a thermal bath held at ambient temperature without external intervention, would be quite unexpected. We describe the equivalent of a “thermal inductor,” composed of a Peltier element and an electric inductance, which can drive the temperature difference between two bodies to change sign by imposing inertia on the heat flowing between them, and enable continuing heat transfer from the chilling body to its warmer counterpart without the need of an external driving force. We demonstrate its operation in an experiment and show that the process can pass through a series of quasi-equilibrium states while fully complying with the second law of thermodynamics. This thermal inductor extends the analogy between electrical and thermal circuits and could serve, with further progress in thermoelectric materials, to cool hot materials well below ambient temperature without external energy supplies or moving parts.

Abstract

The cooling of boiling water all the way down to freezing, by thermally connecting it to a thermal bath held at ambient temperature without external intervention, would be quite unexpected. We describe the equivalent of a “thermal inductor,” composed of a Peltier element and an electric inductance, which can drive the temperature difference between two bodies to change sign by imposing inertia on the heat flowing between them, and enable continuing heat transfer from the chilling body to its warmer counterpart without the need of an external driving force. We demonstrate its operation in an experiment and show that the process can pass through a series of quasi-equilibrium states while fully complying with the second law of thermodynamics. This thermal inductor extends the analogy between electrical and thermal circuits and could serve, with further progress in thermoelectric materials, to cool hot materials well below ambient temperature without external energy supplies or moving parts.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
Health Sciences > Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:1 April 2019
Deposited On:07 Aug 2019 11:28
Last Modified:13 May 2022 12:19
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN:2375-2548
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aat9953

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