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Magnetic Refrigeration

Added on: March 7th, 2012 by Afsal Meerankutty 2 Comments

Magnetic refrigeration is a technology that has proven to be environmentally safe. models have shown 25% efficiency improvement over vapor compression systems. In order to make the Magnetic Refrigerator commercially viable, scientists need to know how to achieve larger temperature swings. Two advantages to using Magnetic Refrigeration over vapor compressed systems are no hazardous chemicals used and they can be up to 60% efficient.
There are still some thermal and magnetic hysteresis problems to be solved for these first-order phase transition materials that exhibit the GMCE to become really useful; this is a subject of current research. This effect is currently being explored to produce better refrigeration techniques, especially for use in spacecraft. This technique is already used to achieve cryogenic temperatures in the laboratory setting (below 10K).

The objective of this effort is to determine the feasibility of designing, fabricating and testing a sensor cooler, which uses solid materials as the refrigerant. These materials demonstrate the unique property known as the magneto caloric effect, which means that they increase and decrease in temperature when magnetized/demagnetized. This effect has been observed for many years and was used for cooling near absolute zero. Recently, materials are being developed which have sufficient temperature and entropy change to make them useful for a wide range of temperature applications. The proposed effort includes magneto caloric effect material selection, analyses, design and integration of components into a preliminary design. Benefits of this design are lower cost, longer life, lower weight and higher efficiency because it only requires one moving part – the rotating disk on which the magneto caloric material is mounted. The unit uses no gas compressor, no pumps, no working fluid, no valves, and no ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons/hydro chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s/HCFC’s). Potential commercial applications include cooling of electronics, super conducting components used in telecommunications equipment (cell phone base stations), home and commercial refrigerators, heat pumps, air conditioning for homes, offices and automobiles, and virtually any place that refrigeration is needed.

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References for Magnetic Refrigeration

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_refrigeration
Topic Category - Mechanical Topics

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