‘Magnet’ fridge to be future cooler

Thu, Nov 12, 2009

Materials

UK Press Association – A “highly innovative” fridge which will use magnets to cool food is being developed as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to current technology, the Carbon Trust has said.

The trust, along with white goods manufacturer Whirlpool, is backing the project to develop a domestic refrigerator based on the scientific principle that certain materials exhibit a temperature change when exposed to a magnetic field.

When the magnetic field is removed, the materials will cool below their original temperature – a phenomenon which it is hoped can be used to create a fridge that is more energy efficient and does away with the need for environmentally harmful gases.

Lab testing of the technology has proved successful and the project is now moving to a real-scale level to prove it can be used on a commercial basis, with a prototype planned for display during the London Olympic Games in 2012.

Compared to current fridges which use compressors, the technology, which is being developed by British company Camfridge formed as a spin off from Cambridge University, will be more efficient, less noisy and not use environmentally-harmful gases.

Bracken Darrell, president of Whirlpool Europe, said: “We are still in an exploratory phase but this technology looks very promising and we are looking forward to offering millions of consumers worldwide this major, unprecedented revolution in their own kitchen.”

Robert Trezona, head of research and development at the Carbon Trust, which was set up by the Government in 2001 to drive the move to a low-carbon economy, said Camfridge’s highly innovative scheme could create products which save carbon.

“The products that Camfridge is working with us to develop could be truly game-changing with significant global potential and are capable of replacing conventional refrigeration systems in air conditioning, industrial processes and domestic applications.

“We are going through a clean-tech revolution and it is companies like Camfridge that will reap the benefits.”

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Gareth is a Founding Principal at Technology Metals Research, LLC. He has expertise in a variety of magnetic materials, devices and applications, and their associated trends and challenges, particularly for renewable energy production. For more information check out his biography page. Don't forget to check out Terra Magnetica at Twitter too.

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One Response to “‘Magnet’ fridge to be future cooler”

  1. Tim Starns Says:

    That is just weird. Are they actually cooling the contents, or the stucture surrounding the contents? I’m assuming they’re supermags of some sort.