The paper describes the successful amalgamation of the thermoelectric and the adsorpion cycles into a combined electro-adsorption chiller (EAC). The symbiotic union produces an efficiency or COP (coefficient of performance) more than threefold when compared with their individual cycles. The experiments conducted on the bench-scale prototype show that it can meet high cooling loads, typically 120 W with an evaporator foot print of 25 cm2, that is 5 W/cm2 at the heated surface temperature of 22° C, which is well below that of the room temperature. The COPs of the EAC chiller vary from 0.7 to 0.8, which is comparable to the theoretical maximum of about 1.1 at the same operating conditions. With a copper-foam cladded evaporator, the high cooling rates have been achieved with a low temperature difference. In addition to meeting high cooling rates, the EAC is unique as (i) it has almost no moving parts and hence has silent operation, (ii) it is environmentally friendly as it uses a nonharmful adsorbent (silica gel), and (iii) water is used as the refrigerant.
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