Posted by: energyblogwalter | July 25, 2006

Thermoacoustic Cooling

Thermoacoutic Cooling is the action of using compression sound waves from speakers to perform refrigeration cooling, thus replacing harmful chemicals used in all cooling systems.  As you know, soundwaves oscillate speakers causing changes in air pressure.  This air pressure can create heat or cold.  Concentrating on cold it can be made into a fridge!  Very interesting idea!

Why aren’t we involved?  Looks to be USA and Australia.  Another great concept underlying Thermal engineering as a key to reducing our many energy system pollutants.

Presentation from Penn State regarding the use of thermoacoutic refrigeration.  Link is simple flash video but does have technical explanation.  Run time about 5 minutes.
Ben and Jerry, Sounds Cool

Wikipedia Link with references

Wikibooks Engineering link:



  1. From a physics textbook I made some notes under Sound Applications. Page 239 of Inquiry into Physics, 6th Edition, Ostdiek/Bord

    Low frequency refrigerators, sound waves in a gas instead of a pump circulating refrigerant .
    Large Amplitude waveform produces huge pressure oscillations in Helium.
    When pressure decreasing, gas expands and absorbs heat from substance to be cooled.
    This heat is transferred to a chamber where it is released.
    Cooling at very low temperatures.
    No moving parts, no lubricants, no CFCs

    I should point out the obvious that should Helium escape it is a noble gas and thus it does not react to other elements in the environment.

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