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Title: Active Magnetic Regenerative Liquefier

This final report for the DOE Project entitled Active Magnetic Regenerative Liquefier (AMRL) funded under Grant DE-FG36-08GO18064 to Heracles Energy Corporation d.b.a. Prometheus Energy (Heracles/Prometheus) describes an active magnetic regenerative refrigerator (AMRR) prototype designed and built during the period from July 2008 through May 2011. The primary goal of this project was to make significant technical advances toward highly efficient liquefaction of hydrogen. Conventional hydrogen liquefiers at any scale have a maximum FOM of ~0.35 due primarily to the intrinsic difficulty of rapid, efficient compression of either hydrogen or helium working gases. Numerical simulation modeling of high performance AMRL designs indicates certain designs have promise to increase thermodynamic efficiency from a FOM of ~0.35 toward ~0.5 to ~0.6. The technical approach was the use of solid magnetic working refrigerants cycled in and out of high magnetic fields to build an efficient active regenerative magnetic refrigeration module providing cooling power for AMRL. A single-stage reciprocating AMRR with a design temperature span from ~290 K to ~120 K was built and tested with dual magnetic regenerators moving in and out of the conductively-cooled superconducting magnet subsystem. The heat transfer fluid (helium) was coupled to the process stream (refrigeration/liquefaction load) via high performancemore » heat exchangers. In order to maximize AMRR efficiency a helium bypass loop with adjustable flow was incorporated in the design because the thermal mass of magnetic refrigerants is higher in low magnetic field than in high magnetic field. Heracles/Prometheus designed experiments to measure AMRR performance under a variety of different operational parameters such as cycle frequency, magnetic field strength, heat transfer fluid flow rate, amount of bypass flow of the heat transfer fluid while measuring work input, temperature span, cooling capability as a function of cold temperature as a function of the amount of bypass flow of the heat transfer fluid. The operational AMRR prototype can be used to answer key questions such as the best recipe for multiple layers of different magnetic refrigerants in one or more integrated regenerators with varying amounts of bypass flow of the heat transfer fluid. Layered regenerators are necessary to span the AMRR range from 290 K to 120K. Our AMRR performance simulation model predicts that ~10-15 % of bypass flow should significantly improve the thermodynamic performance. Initial results obtained with regenerators made of gadolinium spheres were very encouraging; a temperature span of ~ 50 K (between 295K and 245 K) across both regenerators was achieved with zero bypass flow of the heat transfer fluid and with the magnetic field strength of ~4 T.« less
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  1. Heracles Energy Corporation d.b.a. Prometheus Energy, Washington, DC (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Heracles Energy Corporation d.b.a. Prometheus Energy, Washington, DC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
Country of Publication:
United States
42 ENGINEERING; Hydrogen Liquefaction; Magnetic Refrigeration; Active Magnetic Regenerative Liquefier