GERMANY: A Darmstadt-based magnetic cooling startup company has attracted €6.3m of financing to drive forward the series production of refrigerators using the technology.
MagnoTherm Solutions GmbH was established in 2019, as a spin-off from the functional materials group at the Technical University of Darmstadt. The company is staffed by experts in the field of permanent magnets and magnetic cooling.
Instead of using gas-vapour refrigerants, the magnetic cooling technology exploits the magnetocaloric effect in iron-based rare earth alloys. These alloys heat up when magnetised and cool down when demagnetised. With a circulating heat exchange fluid, the heat and cold is captured from the material into water-x heat exchangers.
The company insists that in comparison to compression-based systems, magnetic cooling devices are 40% more energy efficient with COPs between 5 and 10, and are adaptable to operation temperatures between -100°C and +80°C with temperature spans up to 50K. Due to low operating pressures of 2-3bar, maintenance is said to be very safe and easy.
The company insists that the technology can save a lot of money in a short time, even though systems are more expensive to purchase. Magnotherm also plans to focus on individual solutions for IT and electronics cooling as well as air conditioning systems.