Can Magnets really be used instead of traditional methods?

The Magnetocaloric effect was first observed in 1881 by German Physicist Emil Warburg. In 1933 the first working magnetic refrigerators were constructed, yet it appears the technology has been left on the shelf for nearly 90 years.

Recent reports indicate AC industry leader Daikin, is working on this technology for AC units of the future.

It appears now that energy efficiency is front and centre in many purchase decisions, whether it be for economic or environmental reasons, we are seeing innovative companies look to old and new inventions to meet that need.

See the report on Daikin here

How does it work? 

Gadolinium alloy heats up inside a magnetic field and loses thermal energy to the environment and once it exits the magnetic field it becomes cooler than when it entered.

Is it viable? 

So far there has been minimal commercialisation of this technology, and has only really been commercialised for ultra low temperature cryogenic applications.  Although companies like BASF are claiming their version of this technology provides a 35% energy saving versus using compressors.

 

Looks like an interesting space to watch