This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

New magnetocaloric material could change the cooling industry

12 April 2015

Refrigeration and air conditioning may become more efficient and environmentally friendly thanks to the work of Louisiana State University (LSU) physicists.

Stadler's group at LSU working on their new magnetocaloric material

The team of researchers led by LSU Physics Professor Shane Stadler has discovered a breakthrough magnetocaloric material. In this new technology, a magnetic field magnetically orders the material at ambient temperature, which raises its temperature above ambient. The excess heat is removed through a thermal medium, such as water or air, bringing the material back to ambient temperature.

The magnetic field is then removed, the material becomes magnetically disordered and its temperature drops below ambient temperature leading to a cooling effect. This 'solid state' cooling process is significantly more energy efficient than the conventional, compressed gas systems currently on the market today.

“We’ve studied these systems for a long time, and were fortunate to discover a system in which a magnetic transition coincided in temperature with a structural transition,” Stadler says. “That this magnetostructural transition occurs near room temperature is what makes it a strong candidate for magnetocaloric cooling devices of the future.”

Print this page | E-mail this page