Hard frost [magnetic refrigeration technology]

Deltmer, R.
August 2006
Engineering & Technology (17509637);Aug2006, Vol. 1 Issue 5, p32
Academic Journal
A small start-up company in Cambridge, called Camfridge, is assembling a refrigerator that represents a radical departure from conventional refrigeration technology. Based on the so-called magnetocalorific effect (MCE), the Camfridge design doesn't involve gases that deplete the ozone layer or cause greenhouse effect. These MCE-based refrigerators are also expected to provide a 40% reduction in electricity consumption when compared to a conventional fridge. Unfortunately, finding a magnetic refrigerant with exactly the right properties has been difficult. However, scientists at Cambridge University's Department of Metallurgy and Material Science are working on a novel room temperature giant MCE material. The material is based on a blend of cobalt, manganese, and silicon and belongs to the minority category of negative MCE magnetic refrigerants. In the meantime, the Camfridge prototype will use a gadolinium-based refrigerant as a means of testing the soundness of the design implementation.


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