High-performance polymer-based regenerative elastocaloric cooler

Gael Sebald, Giulia Lombardi, Gildas Coativy, Jacques Jay, Laurent Lebrun, Atsuki Komiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alternative methods of refrigeration are critical for performance optimization and environ- mental sustainability. Prototype systems using caloric materials have shown the advantages of a high coefficient of performance (COP) and low global warming potential. Elastocaloric elastomers can meet ongoing needs, but their implementation in functional heat pumps or coolers remains challenging due to their requirement for a large deformation and low thermal conductivity. Moreover, a scalable design is required to achieve high cooling power. As a leap forward for the use of polymers in larger scale caloric devices, we developed experimental elastocaloric polymer coolers with two different geometries using natural rubber tubes. We confirmed that a suitable geometry partially compensated for the low thermal conductivity and led to performances comparable to those of other caloric devices. Several operating conditions were tested to determine the optimal temperature span, cooling power, and COP for both device geometries. Under a specific operating condition, one of the prototypes exhibited a maximum temperature span > 8 K, a maximum COP of 6, and an output cooling power of 1.5 W; this power outperforms other prototypes based on polymers or ceramics. The parallelization of rubber tubes will facilitate realistic elastocaloric polymer coolers on a larger scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120016
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar 25


  • Active regeneration
  • Caloric materials
  • Elastocaloric
  • Natural rubber
  • Solid-state cooling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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