The ability to successfully manage thermal loads is increasingly a primary design constraint for many emerging engineered systems. Systems ranging from military aircraft to computational platforms to photovoltaic (PV) power generation all generate unwanted heat and traditional methods for transporting and removing this heat are often heavy, cumbersome, power hungry, or lack adequate heat removal capacity. Excess heat can result in reduced efficiency in PV systems, limit duty cycles for pulsed power applications, and ultimately cause failure of critical components if not managed properly. Similar problematic scenarios exist for many power generation systems, high power radio frequency (RF) devices, portable electronics, and lasers, to name a few. A host of thermal management techniques are currently available including heat pipes, liquid immersion, jet impingement and sprays, thermoelectric coolers, and refrigeration. While these techniques are adequate in some cases, none of these methods alone can meet the needs of future high power thermal management without incurring large penalties of weight, power, or volume. The technology proposed here overcomes these limitations through autonomic, self-powered, and self-cooling functionality by directly converting the unwanted thermal energy into useable mechanical energy for use in coolant pumps or refrigeration compressors.