Available Technology

Magnetocaloric Refrigeration System

Magnetic refrigerators utilize a phenomenon known as the magnetocaloric effect to induce a temperature change in certain materials by exposing them to a changing magnetic field. This nascent technology can reduce energy consumption by up to thirty percent, and even more importantly requires no refrigerant. Although the market for magnetic refrigerators is in its infancy, research firm Markets and Markets expects it to be valued at $163.7 Million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 108% over that time. Conventional cooling technologies utilize carbon-based refrigerants in vapor compression systems. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have been largely phased out due to their disastrous effect on the ozone layer, but their replacement, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), contribute to global warming and are now scheduled to be phased out as well. Magnetic refrigerators offer a sustainable alternative to these cooling systems; they use only heat transfer fluids that can be water based with little risk to the environment and no direct CO2emissions. Additionally, they operate at low frequencies with fewer moving parts than traditional cooling systems, reducing noise and maintenance costs.
Patent Abstract: 
Magnetic refrigerators utilize a phenomenon known as the magnetocaloric effect to induce a temperature change in certain materials by exposing them to a changing magnetic field. This nascent technology can reduce energy consumption by up to thirty percent, and even more importantly requires no refrigerant. Although the market for magnetic refrigerators is in its infancy, research firm Markets and Markets expects it to be valued at $163.7 Million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 108% over that...
Benefits 
Reduced energy consumption -No harmful refrigerants used -Wide temperature range -Quiet system operation -Reduced maintenance costs (P)
applications 
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
NREL ROI 16-91
Lab Representatives
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