Research news

A step closer towards an efficient alternative technology of magnetic refrigeration

Publish Date: 19.08.2022

Category: Our contribution to sustainable development goals

Sustainable development goals: 7 Affordable and clean energy, 13 Climate action (Indicators)

Global demand for cooling and air conditioning will triple over the next 30 years, and the existing technologies, require substantial improvement in energy efficiency and elimination of environmentally harmful refrigerants.  One of the most promising alternatives is magnetic refrigeration. However, strong research efforts are required to overcome the problems of moving parts and low power density while keeping high energy efficiency. The major, heaviest, and most expensive part of magnetic refrigeration devices concerns magnetic field source, which is analogue to a compressor in vapour compression.

Researchers at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana have developed a new concept of magnetic field source, which was numerically optimized, constructed and experimentally tested. It is static electro-permanent magnet for use in a magnetocaloric device, which achieved more than 80-percent energy efficiency, with the magnetic field density alternating between 0 T and 1 T fifty times per second. Such a magnetic field source, which is also simply controllable, is of vital importance for future high-power-density and high-frequency magnetocaloric devices.

The research was conducted at the Laboratory for Refrigeration and District Energy at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Ljubljana (Urban Tomc, Simon Nosan, Katja Klinar, Andrej Kitanovski), where research activities on magnetocaloric refrigeration technology have been conducted for nearly 20 years. The results of the research were described in the scientific paper “Towards powerful magnetocaloric devices with static electro-permanent magnets”, which was published in the Journal of Advanced Research.


Illustration of an electro-permanent magnet with a 3D model (left) and a graph of energy efficiency depending on the operating frequency of the magnetic field’s oscillation between 0 and 1 T (right). (Written by: Urban Tomc).

TOMC, Urban, NOSAN, Simon, KLINAR, Katja, KITANOVSKI, Andrej. Towards powerful magnetocaloric devices with static electro-permanent magnets. Journal of Advanced Research. Print ed. 2022, pp. 1-25, illustr. ISSN 2090-1232, DOI: 10.1016/j.jare.2022.05.001. [COBISS.SI-ID 112617731

back to list