It’s not exactly a novel idea, but it could save your life.
A group of researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas, say they have developed a new type of cold room.
The researchers call the device a “temporary room heater.”
They’ve made a prototype of the device at the International Conference on Thermoelectric Materials in San Francisco.
“This is not a conventional cold room heater,” says co-author Richard Buehler, a professor of mechanical engineering at UTMB.
“Instead, this is a new and novel device that can be used in any kind of temperature environment.”
The researchers tested the device by attaching it to a hot-water bottle and putting it in a freezer.
The bottle kept the temperature in the room steady, which is important because cold temperatures cause dehydration.
The temperature inside the room then fell slowly to the freezing point.
When the temperature rose to the high point of a typical room temperature, it stopped the heat.
The team says the device can be installed in a single, low-profile window that can keep a room cool for longer than a standard cold room refrigerator.
Buehl says the heater works by keeping a cold air stream inside the temperature-controlled room.
It can be controlled by a computer, or it can be turned off remotely.
The device could be useful in hospitals that have limited space to store equipment.
“The temperature is very low.
We could easily have this in a room that has no overhead space,” Buella says.”
The cold room will give you an extra opportunity to get comfortable, which may be more beneficial for patients,” Buhler adds.
The researchers are also exploring ways to increase the size of the room and add a fan to the unit.
Buehler says they plan to test the device in a variety of settings, including a nursing home, a day care facility and an assisted living facility.
The device would be ideal for a hospital with limited space or a facility that needs to operate in extreme temperatures.
Buhler says the team is working with manufacturers to test whether the device could work in the lab.