The present invention is a simple and quite clever solution that allows to efficiently control both the direction and intensity of the heat transfer between two systems.
Thermal management is an area that encompasses multiple requirements and methods, as it has application in the aerospace, aeronautic, military fields, as well as domestic heating and cooling. However, current solutions present one or more of the following constraints: significant production costs; they are noisy, they can only operate in a narrow temperature range, they have poor control and insulation of the heat flux, and they cannot be remotely controlled.
The Externally Activatable Thermal Switch is a thermal management solution that solves all the problems stated above. Namely, it is reliable, it is effective and efficient in the heat flux control. And it has a low production cost.
This novel thermal switch device is based on the magnetic activation of a liquid, suspension, magnetostrictive material or small solid particles to form thermal bridges between a top and bottom plates.
The present device has the potential to be downsized to a micro scale, as its design has no mechanical moving parts. Also it has the flexibility to be operated in several different thermal bridges and carriers.
The solution possesses a range of potential applications: temperature control systems and sensors; battery fuel cells; cooling systems for microelectronics, transformers and overheating systems; magnetic thermostats and refrigerators.
This invention can be generalized for other external control parameters beyond the magnetic field. These control parameters include pressure, eletrical field or temperature.