Available Technology

Regenerator for Magnetic Refrigerants

Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a new magnetic material that can be used at low temperatures (sub liquid hydrogen) for magnetic refrigerators. Magnetic refrigeration is being investigated as an alternative to conventional gas compressor technology for cooling and heating because of its potential to save energy and reduce operating costs. The potential utility of magnetic refrigerants has been demonstrated using gadolinium palladium (GdPd) alloys. However, palladium is an expensive metal and while the GdPd alloy exhibits useful magnetic entropy, other rare earth metals possess magnetic entropies that are larger.
Patent Abstract: 
These materials may thus have improved properties for magnetic refrigeration. As part of an effort to research and develop magnetic refrigerants, ISU and Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a special rare-earth aluminum alloy that can be used at low temperatures (sub liquid hydrogen) for Active Magnetic Regenerator (AMR) magnetic refrigerators. This system allows for cyclic heat disssipation and heat absorption in the course of the alternative magnetization and demagnetization as the materials are moved in and out of the magnetic field. This invention can utilize a dual stage active magnetic regenerator for cooling from 77 K (liquid nitrogen boiling point) to 20 K (liquefaction temperature of hydrogen).
* Efficient (regenerator effectiveness for liquefaction of gaseous hydrogen is higher than for demonstration regenerator refrigerators) * Simple (refrigerant materials can be used in as-cast condition without heat treatment)
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
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