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Fridge Back for Phones

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Phones of today are going to be increasingly more powerful in the future as their powers increase. Tomorrow's phones, even today, get pretty hot when they're doing something intensive and complicated, like VR.

This idea is to use a heat exchange arrangement to wick heat away from the overheating phone, and dump some of that energy back into the battery, and the rest of the side-effect is to make the back of the phone feel cooler.

Even a tiny bit of energy leeching to forward to the battery under hot conditions is better than not doing so, which makes it an advantage. The disadvantage is that it will make an otherwise hot and toasting phone feel cooler to the hand or in the pocket. Unless it is one of those days in that week of the year that has somewhat warm weather.

I think the obvious thing to jump to is peltier heat pumps. Perhaps. But perhaps it might be possible to design a heat flow waveguide that can naturally wick away heat energy to concentrate it onto a peltier device to use in the seebeck effect mode. In such cases, the peltier device would generate energy from the thermal difference rather than actively cooling, but if the waveguide could wick the heat away to the seebeck arrangement, supplying power to the battery, there may well be enough of a heat reduction overall to make a difference.

Ian Tindale, May 22 2017


       Surely a better solution would be for the phone to siphon out liquid from (one of) your (mugs of) coffee, circulate it through conduits within the phone and pump it back into your coffee mug. This would cool the phone circuitry to the temperature of your coffee or, conversely, maintain the temperature of your coffee to that of your phone's circuitry.
hippo, May 22 2017

       Well, I was hoping not to actually require the expenditure of energy outside of the system to propel it, and hoping to use thermal waveguide technology as if it is some kind of microfluidic acoustic magic that defies gravity and other irritating restrictions.
Ian Tindale, May 22 2017

       I can definitely see this one not working.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 22 2017

       A Peltier element is a dreadful conductor unless energized. Even then, they're not great at moving heat, and they use energy to do it. That energy will create more heat. A quick glance at the data sheets suggests that Peltier elements can't even dissipate the heat they generate without hefty heatsinks. The power drawn also creates more heat than they can effectively move.   

       Also, heat is what kills LiPo batteries. People who use really pricey ones, keep them in the freezer.
bs0u0155, May 22 2017

       What's obviously needed is a kind of battery that actually not only likes a lot of heat, but relishes it. One that could convert heat from a graphics multiprocessor array into some more stored power. I know it sounds a bit like perpetual motion, but if we don't call it that, then it isn't.
Ian Tindale, May 22 2017

       Hmmm. I favor lighter weight, more convenient phones. That said, for a while phones had holsters. So just imagine a gigantic brushed aluminum heat sink holster that looks kind of like _\V/_, larger that an impressive belt buckle that the bare metal of Ian's phone slides into for between call cooling.
beanangel, May 22 2017

       [marked-for-deletion] for bad science. I thought you knew basic thermodynamics.
notexactly, May 23 2017


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