Magnetic refrigeration: a promising technology
The IIR decided, a few years ago, to set up a Working Party on Magnetic Refrigeration at Room Temperature, and has organized 4 conferences: in 2005 in Switzerland, in 2007 in Slovenia, in 2009 in the USA, in 2010 in China. We published articles in the International Journal of Refrigeration and in the Bulletin; we published an Informatory Note in 2007. Despite some realizations at low temperatures, it seemed difficult to obtain good efficiency and reasonable costs at room temperature, for general refrigeration uses. However, this technology seemed environmentally friendly and several universities and private companies were interested in it. Around 40 prototypes have been built in America, Asia and Europe. The development has entered a new phase. The IIR Working Party will set up comparison of calculation methods in order to enter a pre-industrialization era. Astronautics Corp. of America (a private company involved in our Working Party) received a USD 2.9 million energy research grant funded through a federal US agency. Another company, a start-up, at Cambridge University, UK, is involved, along with the IIR, in a European project (Frisbee). International recognition and true private investment have thus been achieved. We can be proud of our previous work and confident in the future of this new technology. For more information: -20th Informatory Note on Cooling Technologies "Magnetic Refrigeration at Room Temperature", IIR, October 2007. - Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Magnetic Refrigeration at Room temperature (Thermag IV) held in Baotou, China, in August 2010. - Yu B, Liu M, Egolf PW, Kitanovski A. A review of magnetic refrigerators and heat pump prototypes built before the year 2010. Int.J.Refr. 33(6), 1029-1060, 2010.