Cooling processes usually consume a great amount of energy. Furthermore, some of them make use of refrigerants to complete the whole process. Those refrigerants are usually pollutants that need to be refilled or changed from time to time. Besides, we mustn’t forget about CO2 emissions generated in these processes. Reducing the use of refrigerants and diminishing the CO2 emissions is essential. One solution that can be effective is the magnetic refrigeration. Based on the effect of applying a magnetic field into a metal, no refrigerant is required and no CO2 emissions take place.
Say ‘goodbye’ to refrigerants and emissions. Say ‘hello’ to magnetic refrigeration.
Many processes require cooling nowadays. We are talking about food and beverage industries, a simple fridge or an office building. All of them need a refrigeration process. As we have mentioned before, they can make use of refrigerants, electricity and so on.
But a new way to produce cooling is on the way. The magnetic refrigeration looks like a promising solution. But how does it works? Is it magic? Well, the whole process is explained in the image below. The results obtained show that the temperature difference between the cold and hot faces of the material can reach up to 20K.
The very first developments have been orientated towards commercial and domestic markets. However, it could also be applied to other industries such as air conditioning (including automotive), cryogenics or heat pumps. The most interesting feature of this system is that it will fulfil the standards and regulations regarding refrigeration. This is possible thanks to the absence of refrigerants (no leakages) and CO2 emissions.
Thinking about including this technology in buildings, a great characteristic is that the frecuency used by the system is really low, about 1Hz to 3Hz. That means that low levels of noise will be produced in comparison with other refrigeration solutions. The efficiency also looks great. First research studies say that it can be up to 30% more efficient than other systems.
Although further research is still required, the magnetic refrigeration looks promising. We are looking forward to finding new developments based on this technology soon.
Source: CIBSE journal