Scale-up of Magnetocaloric Materials for High Efficiency Magnetic Refrigeration

General Engineering & Research, L.L.C.

Recipient

San Diego, CA

Recipient Location

39th

Senate District

77th

Assembly District

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$793,474

Amount Spent

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Active

Project Status

Project Update

As of the end of 2021, the project team has met the targets for this project to provide magnetocaloric materials in the form of sub mm sized spheres and thin plates. These products are now commercially available in various quantities for purchase through our webstore at www.geandr.com. The team also now have the ability to manufacture these products at 1kg/day capacity which is our target LRIP (low rate initial production) for this project. The project is continuing to optimize manufacturing processing and perform systematic heat treatment development to improve the performance of the magnetocaloric materials. The remainder of 2022-2023 GE&R will focus on improving performance of the magnetocaloric materials to achieve a minimum peak absolute change in entropy under 3T magnetic field of >5kJ/kg for all alloys functioning in the 10-300K temperature range. It should be noted, based on results to date, the team expect to significantly exceed this performance target for many of the alloys.

The Issue

Magnetic refrigeration is a high efficiency refrigeration technology that uses no hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and has the potential to replace traditional vapor compression systems. Magnetic refrigeration has been shown to be up to 50% or more energy efficient compared to VCC technologies, without using environmentally hazardous materials. Magnetic refrigeration utilizes the magnetocaloric effect (MCE), which is the temperature variation of a magnetic material after exposure to a magnetic field. However, the lack of low-cost and widely available magnetocalcaloric materials is preventing the wider adoption of magnetic refrigeration technology.

Project Innovation

General Engineering & Research's (GE&R) has developed MCE compositions that meet both the performance and cost requirements to be compatible with large scale implementation of magnetic refrigeration systems. For this project, GE&R will develop the processing systems to manufacture their MCE materials in forms needed for integration into magnetic refrigeration systems (spheres and thin plates). Equipment with 1kg or larger batch processing will be installed to accommodate 1kg/day low-rate initial production. Production at this scale will allow for end users to develop and test magnetic refrigeration prototypes, and ultimately move these systems into production.

Project Goals

Install equipment and develop procedures to accommodate 1kg/day production.
Work with Pacific Northwestern National Laboratory to develop new heat treatment technique to reduce processing time/cost.
Develop processes to form MCE materials into spheres and thin plates.
Optimize processing to meet cost and performance requirements.

Project Benefits

This project will help facilitate further development and deployment of magnetic refrigeration systems, which offer significant efficiency improvements over traditional vapor compression cooling systems while using no hydrodrofluorocarbons. Increased use of magnetic refrigeration can lead to lower energy use and GHG emissions.

Lower Costs

Affordability

Magnetic refrigeration offers a significant reduction in energy consumption compared to traditional cooling technologies that rely on vapor compression. Additionally, the recipient's MCE materials can be produced at a lower cost

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

Magnetic refrigeration is a high efficiency refrigeration technology that uses no hydrodrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and has the potential to replace traditional vapor compression systems.

Key Project Members

Robin Ihnfeldt

Robin Ihnfeldt

CEO

Contact the Team

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