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New Smart Metal Could Make Your Air Conditioner 175% More Efficient

Staying cool can be a challenge in the summer months, especially when global temperatures seem to be hitting an all-time high. Fortunately for your electric bill, a new metal alloy could someday increase the efficiency of your air conditioner by as much as 175%.

The smart metal, which would replace liquid coolants in refrigerators and air conditioners, is currently being tested by materials engineers at the University of Maryland. It is a “thermally elastic” alloy, meaning that the metal can alternately absorb or create heat. According to the researchers, “the approach is expected to increase cooling efficiency 175 percent, reduce US carbon emissions by 250 million metric tons per year, and replace liquid refrigerants that can cause environmental degradation in their own right.”

Looks like soon we’ll all be, in the words of Outkast, “cooler than a polar bear’s toenails.”

Image: Keck Laboratory for Combinatorial Nanosynthesis and Multiscale Characterization, UMD

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