Research news

Development of energy-efficient and rapid response electro-permanent magnet with regeneration of magnetic energy

Publish Date: 23.12.2022

Category: Outstanding research achievements, Interdisciplinary research, Our contribution to sustainable development goals

Sustainable development goals: 7 Affordable and clean energy, 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure, 11 Sustainable cities and communities, 12 Responsible consumption and production, 13 Climate action (Indicators)

According to the IEA (International Energy Agency) report, global needs for cooling and air conditioning in the next 30 years will treble, and existing technology will require major improvements in energy efficiency and the removal of environmentally harmful coolants. Magnetic cooling is an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to existing cooling technologies, heat pumps and energy production processes.

 The main, heaviest and most expensive part of magnetic cooling devices is the source of the magnetic field, which is analogous to a compressor in steam compression devices. The prototype devices built to date have used structures of permanent magnets, which required movement to achieve a changing magnetic field. The movable parts and the drive system limit the energy efficiency and rapid changing of the magnetic field.

 For this reason we developed a new concept – a static electro-permanent source of magnetic field without moving parts, with a rapidly changing magnetic field and regeneration of magnetic energy. We demonstrated more than 80-percent energy efficiency with such a magnet, where the density of the magnetic field varies between 0 T and 1 T more than 50 times per second.

 This concept signals a new milestone in the field of magnetic cooling, since in addition to the advantages listed above it enables a high power density for magnetic cooling devices. This makes it vitally important for the future development of compact magnetocaloric devices, and it is also usable in actuators and linear motors.


Figure: Graph of energy efficiency depending on the operating frequency of the magnetic field oscillation between 0 and 1 T compared to the state of the art (above, left); illustration of electro-permanent magnet with 3D model (above right); phases of operation of electro-permanent magnet (below). The red arrow indicates the direction of electrical flow through the coil, and the yellow arrow shows the forces of the magnetic field. We achieve alternately in one air slit the maximum density of the magnetic field, and in another air slit the minimum. Author: Urban Tomc.



Dr. Urban Tomc, Simon Nosan, Katja Klinar, prof. dr. Andrej Kitanovski, dr. Blaž Jelenc, prof. dr. Alojz Poredoš.


Tomc, U., Nosan, S., Klinar, K., Kitanovski, A. (2022). Towards powerful magnetocaloric devices with static electro-permanent magnets. Journal of Advanced Research. 1–25.  [COBISS.SI-ID 112617731]

Patent awarded:

Kitanovski, A., Jelenc, B., Tomc, U., Poredoš, A. (2021). Magnetocaloric device = Magnetokalorische Vorrichtung = Dispositif magnétocalorique : European patent specification EP 3 106 781 B1, 2021-12-01. Munich: European Patent Office. 30 f., ilustr.[COBISS.SI-ID 15608347], 

patent family: EP3106781A1, 2016-12-21; EP15172694A, 2015-06-18; CN107743570A, 2018-02-27; RU2017145062A, 2019-06-24; WO2016203001A2, 2016-12-22; WO2016203001A3, 2017-03-16, kategorija: 2E 














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