skip to main content

Title: Final Scientific/Technical Report for DOE/EERE project Advanced Magnetic Refrigerant Materials

A team led by GE Global Research developed new magnetic refrigerant materials needed to enhance the commercialization potential of residential appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners based on the magnetocaloric effect (a nonvapor compression cooling cycle). The new magnetic refrigerant materials have potentially better performance at lower cost than existing materials, increasing technology readiness level. The performance target of the new magnetocaloric material was to reduce the magnetic field needed to achieve 4 °C adiabatic temperature change from 1.5 Tesla to 0.75 Tesla. Such a reduction in field minimizes the cost of the magnet assembly needed for a magnetic refrigerator. Such a reduction in magnet assembly cost is crucial to achieving commercialization of magnetic refrigerator technology. This project was organized as an iterative alloy development effort with a parallel material modeling task being performed at George Washington University. Four families of novel magnetocaloric alloys were identified, screened, and assessed for their performance potential in a magnetic refrigeration cycle. Compositions from three of the alloy families were manufactured into regenerator components. At the beginning of the project a previously studied magnetocaloric alloy was selected for manufacturing into the first regenerator component. Each of the regenerators was tested in magnetic refrigeratormore » prototypes at a subcontractor at at GE Appliances. The property targets for operating temperature range, operating temperature control, magnetic field sensitivity, and corrosion resistance were met. The targets for adiabatic temperature change and thermal hysteresis were not met. The high thermal hysteresis also prevented the regenerator components from displaying measurable cooling power when tested in prototype magnetic refrigerators. Magnetic refrigerant alloy compositions that were predicted to have low hysteresis were not attainable with conventional alloy processing methods. Preliminary experiments with rapid solidification methods showed a path towards attaining low hysteresis compositions should this alloy development effort be continued.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
GE Global Research
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Program (EE-2J)
Contributing Orgs:
George Washington University, Astronautics Corporation of America
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE Magnetic refrigeration, Magnetocaloric materials.