Money Matters - Simplified

saving consumers

'Smart' metal could replace refrigerants

College Park, Md. -- A new "smart" metal could replace the liquid refrigerant in air conditioners, saving consumers money and reducing greenhouse gases, scientists say.

Researchers at the University of Maryland are developing a new "thermally elastic" metal alloy to replace fluids used in conventional refrigeration and air conditioning compressors, a university release said Friday.

The alloy alternately absorbs or creates heat similar to a compressor-based system, but uses far less energy and avoids the need for fluids with high global warming potential, the researchers say.