Shape memory alloys: solid-state refrigerant for an environmental friendly next generation HVAC&R technology

Speaker :
Prof. Suxin Qian
Department of Refrigeration and Cryogenic Engineering,
School of Energy and Power Engineering,
Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
Date : 3 Dec 2018 (Mon)
Time : 3:00 pm
Venue : Room 1511, HKUST (1/F., Lift #27/28)


The stress-induced phase transformation and associated latent heat in super-elastic shape memory alloys are essentials for a new not-in-kind cooling technology, a.k.a. elastocaloric cooling. This presentation first reviews the big picture of recent challenges in HVAC&R industry and necessity to pursue elastocaloric cooling. The unique characteristics of elastocaloric cooling are introduced with respect to its cyclic principle and thermodynamic fundamentals. Furthermore, these unique characteristics bring challenges and opportunities when developing elastocaloric cooling prototypes, from chip-scale cooling application to residential scale refrigeration and air-conditioning devices. Strengths and limitations of prototypes developed so far are discussed in terms of heat transfer, driving mechanism and system integration. In the end, I will conclude with expectations for future prototypes and requirements for the shape memory alloys to be competitive for real HVAC&R applications.


Prof. Suxin Qian is an associate professor at the Department of Refrigeration and Cryogenic Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University. He received his B.S. from Tsinghua University in 2011 and his Ph.D. from University of Maryland, College Park in 2015. His vision is to reduce the environmental footprint of HVAC&R equipment by leveraging advanced simulation, optimization and system integration. His current research interests are developing non-vapor compression cooling technologies, especially for elastocaloric cooling and magnetocaloric cooling.