New material set to change cooling industry

April 11, 2015
Credit: LSU

Refrigeration and air conditioning may become more efficient and environmentally friendly thanks to the patent-pending work of LSU physicists. The team of researchers led by LSU Physics Professor Shane Stadler has discovered a breakthrough magnetocaloric material that may change the energy industry, including air conditioning and food refrigeration.

"The world refrigeration market is expected to increase by about $7-8 billion by 2018," Stadler said. Therefore, his breakthrough has a significant economic impact as well as an impact on the and environment.

Stadler's research focuses on the next generation of magnetic cooling technologies, which are simpler in design, quieter and more than conventional compressed-gas systems currently used.

"LSU's basic research into low temperature physics and materials science has potential applications in areas related to energy, electronics and the environment," said Michael L. Cherry, chair and professor, LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy. "Professor Stadler's magnetocaloric materials program is an example of this research that appears to be directly relevant to energy development and Louisiana's economy. It also provides excellent training opportunities for Louisiana's students."

In this new technology, a magnetic field magnetically orders the material at , 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 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 said. "That this magnetostructural transition occurs near room is what makes it a strong candidate for magnetocaloric cooling devices of the future."

Stadler's team's technological discovery is a promising alternative for refrigeration and that can reduce the use of harmful gas fluorocarbons.

"We are excited about the potential applications that are available for Dr. Stadler's technology," said Andrew Maas, assistant vice president for research over technology transfer and director of the renamed Office of Innovation and Technology Commercialization. "The Department of Energy, General Electric and other companies around the world have been working with magnetocaloric materials for some time. Dr. Stadler's solution addresses many of the issues that these big players have encountered."

Currently, a local group of entrepreneurs have expressed interest in this advanced technology. After further testing, they will look into developing commercialization opportunities utilizing it for the heating and cooling industry.

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Sonhouse
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2015
How much more efficient is it going to prove to be V Peltier effect coolers?
AZWarrior
3.8 / 5 (10) Apr 11, 2015
The improvement of our cooling technology is more than just an environmental impact issue. In deed, if you subscribe to global warming, then energy efficient and effective air conditioning and food refrigeration are important adaptation strategies. And as we know from science, the species that fails to adapt, dies.
antialias_physorg
4.7 / 5 (13) Apr 11, 2015
How much more efficient is it going to prove to be V Peltier effect coolers?

If they are anywhere near Peltier coolers then they don't need to go to market. Peltier elements are terrible in terms of efficiency (about 10% as efficient as conventional refrigeration methods)
MalleusConspiratori
2.4 / 5 (14) Apr 11, 2015
@AZWarrior The article is equating "no compressed gas coolant" and "environmentally friendly". There's no mention about the electrical requirements such a system would have, i.e., is it more than a conventional system. If so, it's environmentally friendly like electric cars are. Looks like a big step forward, but the footprint remains effectively the same.
AGreatWhopper
1.8 / 5 (25) Apr 11, 2015
And there, in a nutshell you have the AGWites. It's a whole new line of marketing, not any kind of real response to AGW, betraying the fact that they don't believe in it. It's a money making opportunity, as the article states. Why? Looks green. Why is that worth paying more? The hype.

Meanwhile, if they really believed the hype, they'd turn off the AC or move somewhere they don't need it. They don't do that. It's about OUR behavior, not theirs. As pointed out, they often endorse solutions that have NO EFFECT on footprint. Doesn't sound like they believe their own rhetoric. Pretty obvious, no?
gkam
2.9 / 5 (17) Apr 11, 2015
You are all full of it. It says in the article it is more efficient than heat of vaporization systems we use today, and has a solid working fluid. And why did you all determine it required excessive power for it to change magnetic state?
MalleusConspiratori
2.6 / 5 (10) Apr 11, 2015
Who concluded? I asked. Reading is fundamental.
greenonions
4.5 / 5 (16) Apr 11, 2015
AGreatWhopper - here we have a really interesting article - about some potentially significant research - that addresses a major issue in our world - ie the growing need for cooling. and could yield a system -
simpler in design, quieter and more environmentally friendly than conventional compressed-gas systems currently used.


And you have to turn it into a childish rant about AGWites. Nice going...
Shootist
2.5 / 5 (15) Apr 11, 2015
The improvement of our cooling technology is more than just an environmental impact issue. In deed, if you subscribe to global warming, then energy efficient and effective air conditioning and food refrigeration are important adaptation strategies. And as we know from science, the species that fails to adapt, dies.


AGW?

I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who tell me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis.

Adapt? Where are the 100 1000 megawatt fission plants we need to power the 'lectric cars?

ab3a
5 / 5 (11) Apr 11, 2015
Climate arguments aside, we spend a significant fraction of the energy produced to cool homes and businesses. A more efficient cooling system for refrigeration and buildings would be very welcome.

Unfortunately, from this article it is hard to tell how much of an improvement they're discussing here.
Grallen
5 / 5 (8) Apr 11, 2015
Refrigeration is a big player in the cost of food, and operating server farms. This is the kind of advancement that can actually lower cost of living noticeably (provided the energy discount is significant enough to spur conversion).
greenonions
4.5 / 5 (16) Apr 11, 2015
Shootist
I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who tell me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis.


As usual - science for you is about what you believe. Strange psychology - this group of people who go around thinking that everyone cares about what they 'believe'.
gkam
2.1 / 5 (11) Apr 11, 2015
" Where are the 100 1000 megawatt fission plants we need to power the 'lectric cars?"
-------------------------------------

Collect the pieces at Fukushima and build your own.
MalleusConspiratori
2.5 / 5 (11) Apr 11, 2015
@greenonions I couldn't fail to disagree with you less!
jazzy_j_man
not rated yet Apr 11, 2015
Fusion, not fission.
Da Schneib
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2015
And there, in a nutshell you have the AGWites.
Freon is a global warming gas.

Maybe you forgot.
Da Schneib
4.4 / 5 (7) Apr 12, 2015
From the article,
This "solid state" cooling process is significantly more energy efficient than the conventional, compressed gas systems currently on the market today.
Reading is, indeed, fundamental.

Moving right along, now that we've discussed increased efficiency, this of course means less energy consumption, which means less carbon emissions, which means less global warming for the same amount of refrigeration and air conditioning.

Peltier coolers are mostly useful where the primary consideration is space and/or mass. For example, I have an astrocamera with a Peltier cooler on it; I can hold it in my hand.
Da Schneib
4.5 / 5 (8) Apr 12, 2015
Following the link to more information, one discovers that it's possible to get the magnetocaloric effect- and in fact what is called a "giant" magnetocaloric effect- by rotating the magnetocaloric material in a static magnetic field. Thus, no power is required for electromagnets that can be turned on and off; just a motor to rotate the material within the magnetic field from ordinary magnets, and a fan to cool the hot side, and a pump to move water through it. No compressor, better efficiency. Most of the power in a refrigerator is consumed by the compressor.
Eikka
1.4 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2015
Peltier elements are terrible in terms of efficiency (about 10% as efficient as conventional refrigeration methods)


Only at high power.

The problem with Peltier coolers is that the heat transmission through the device follows the current linearily, but the energy loss in the device follows current squared, so the efficiency drops at a factor of 2 as the power increases.

At low power, peltiers can easily reach a CoP of 3-4 over modest temperature differentials, but the trouble then becomes the large number of devices needed to achieve high cooling power.
tear88
2 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2015
What about the DEVAP AC? As far as I can tell, that's gone nowhere. (Just google it if you haven't read about it. DEVAP = Dessicant-enhanced EVAPorative cooling).
Eikka
1 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2015
just a motor to rotate the material within the magnetic field from ordinary magnets, and a fan to cool the hot side, and a pump to move water through it. No compressor, better efficiency. Most of the power in a refrigerator is consumed by the compressor.


This thing isn't a free energy machine. Re-ordering magnetic domains requires work, which is what shows up as heat, and therefore a force must appear that resists the motor turning the magnetocaloric material in the magnetic field.

This force is analogous to the torque and power required to turn the compressor in a regular fridge. Most of the power is still going to go into turning the motor to pump the heat. Only, there's less friction involved since we're not pumping fluid through pipes with a piston pump.
gkam
2 / 5 (9) Apr 12, 2015
tear88, we in Technical Services had a large unit running in the 1980's as an experiment for the Gas Research Institute. I think it took up too much room. It was about the size of a shipping container.
TopCat22
5 / 5 (1) Apr 12, 2015
If it works to cool it also works to heat. Why does the article only mention it relating to using it to cool? It should work like a more efficient heat-pump system for both cooling and heating
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2015
If it works to cool it also works to heat. Why does the article only mention it relating to using it to cool? It should work like a more efficient heat-pump system for both cooling and heating


High grade magnetic materials lose their properties quickly at high temperatures, so the applications for heating may be limited or problematic.
JRi
5 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2015
Cooltech Applications already claim to have their commercial magnetic refrigeration unit available.
tear88
5 / 5 (1) Apr 12, 2015
gkam: Well, if it follows the miniaturization curve of computers, today's versions should be about the size of a quarter! ;^)

From articles I've read, I don't see why it should be noticably larger than a standard A/C. Maybe the latest version uses a new dessicant that doesn't require as much to be effective.
Da Schneib
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2015
just a motor to rotate the material within the magnetic field from ordinary magnets, and a fan to cool the hot side, and a pump to move water through it. No compressor, better efficiency. Most of the power in a refrigerator is consumed by the compressor.


This thing isn't a free energy machine. .
Please don't do this. It's impolite.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.5 / 5 (11) Apr 12, 2015
You are all full of it. It says in the article it is more efficient than heat of vaporization systems we use today, and has a solid working fluid
Uh no you rank amateur there is no phase change. Its solid state.

"This "solid state" cooling process is significantly more energy efficient than the conventional, compressed gas systems currently on the market today" (the article)
we in Technical Services had a large unit running in the 1980's
-guess you missed the lunch-and-learn about solid state systems.
gkam
2.2 / 5 (10) Apr 12, 2015
" we in Technical Services had a large unit running in the 1980's

-guess you missed the lunch-and-learn about solid state systems."
----------------------------------

Guess YOU missed the part where I was referring to the dessicant cooling system directly to tear88.

otto, before you go off with silly accusations, get it right.

Have you apologized in the other fora yet?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.5 / 5 (11) Apr 12, 2015
" we in Technical Services had a large unit running in the 1980's

-guess you missed the lunch-and-learn about solid state systems."
----------------------------------

Guess YOU missed the part where I was referring to the dessicant cooling system directly to tear88.
You are all full of it. It says in the article it
-'it' meaning the material in the article
is more efficient than heat of vaporization systems we use today, and has a solid working fluid. And why did you all determine it required excessive power for it to change magnetic state?
-And so we find out that gkam the pioneer doesnt know what 'solid working fluid' means. We already know you like to throw tech terms about for effect.

Pretty smelly indeed.
Have you apologized in the other fora yet?
Why? You and your buds were wrong. As usual. Swimming pools cant be (and arent) used to cool houses.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.5 / 5 (11) Apr 12, 2015
Let me clean that up a bit...

Guess YOU missed the part where I was referring to the dessicant cooling system directly to tear88
-But gkam you said
You are all full of it. It says in the article it
-by 'it' obviously meaning the material in the article
is more efficient than heat of vaporization systems we use today
-including your dessicant system. No?
and has a solid working fluid. And why did you all determine it required excessive power for it to change magnetic state? etc
-And so we find out that gkam the pioneer doesnt know what 'solid working fluid' means. We already know you like to throw tech terms about for effect.

Pretty smelly indeed.
Have you apologized in the other fora yet?
Why? You and your buds were wrong. As usual. Swimming pools cant be (and arent) used to cool houses. [
gkam
2.5 / 5 (11) Apr 12, 2015
Okay, Toots, give me the total average specific heat content of a household pool with a delta-T of 15F.

Come on, Mister Mouth, I am going to step you through the calculations so you can stay with me for your apology.
Estevan57
5 / 5 (11) Apr 12, 2015
Well now, Ottotheidiot has struck again.

"Swimming pools cant be (and arent) used to cool houses." - Otto

http://www.cnet.c...-heater/
http://www.azcent...710.html
http://www.aquaca...ng-Pool-
http://engineerex...ol1.html
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (4) Apr 12, 2015
See ya, Eikka. I don't bother with ugly people.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.7 / 5 (12) Apr 12, 2015
Okay, Toots, give me the total average specific heat content of a household pool with a delta-T of 15F.

Come on, Mister Mouth, I am going to step you through the calculations so you can stay with me for your apology.
Sorry mr mouse Eikka already attempted to convince you. What, did you forget already? Bad sign.

A man would do his own calcs, in the RIGHT THREAD. But you're the old man who has to pretend he's never wrong, and was something he never was.

THIS thread is the one in which you got 'solid working fluid' wrong. Yes?
gkam
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 12, 2015
Come on, Mister Mouth. Okay, give me the average size of household swimming pool and I'll show you how to do it.
Estevan57
5 / 5 (8) Apr 12, 2015
Hey gkam: Go with 5m x 15m (16.4042ft x 49.2126ft) and say 2m (6.56168ft) depth.
This is close to average for an in ground rectangular pool with slope averaged out to about 6ft.
Round however you want. Use 'merican units if needed.

http://en.wikiped...ing_pool
gkam
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 13, 2015
Okay, here is a quick calculation:
a pool 16 X 50 X 6 ft holds 4,800 ft3, or 300,000 lbs of H2O.

A 15-degree delta-T gives us 4.5 million Btu, divided by 12,000 Btu/ton-hour, reveals we have 375 ton-hours of A/C available in that pool. That is heat you do not have to pay for heating the pool. And you can get much of it back in Winter.

TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (10) Apr 13, 2015
Okay, here is a quick calculation:
a pool 16 X 50 X 6 ft holds 4,800 ft3, or 300,000 lbs of H2O.

A 15-degree delta-T gives us 4.5 million Btu, divided by 12,000 Btu/ton-hour, reveals we have 375 ton-hours of A/C available in that pool. That is heat you do not have to pay for heating the pool. And you can get much of it back in Winter.

Wrong thread wetbrain. Try this one
http://phys.org/n...rgy.html

-and Im not going to argue with you about it. Eikka already proved you wrong, in THAT thread.
gkam
2 / 5 (8) Apr 13, 2015
And you are UNABLE to argue about it.

Shall I explain the calculations? Confused about tons and ton-hours? Fact is, you have never done even an easy calculation like this one to survey potential, have you?

Eikka
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 24, 2015
And you can get much of it back in Winter.


No you don't.

The pool loses the heat you add to it in a matter of days to weeks by evaporation and radiation, and convection to the ground.

There's nothing left of the heat come heating season.
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 24, 2015
Hey Eikka, pools are heated. Do you suppose there might be a good reason for insulating them?

This is duh.
Eikka
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 25, 2015
Hey Eikka, pools are heated. Do you suppose there might be a good reason for insulating them?

This is duh.


Yes, it is a good idea - but pools still lose heat. That's why you keep heating them.

http://energyexpe...tor.aspx

Otherwise the idea of using swimming pools as A/C heatsinks would not work in the first place: if they didn't lose massive amounts of heat continuously, the water temperature would keep rising and rising until you couldn't swim in it any longer.

If you insulate a swimming pool to the point that it retains heat well into the winter, it becomes a very large water boiler, and you couldn't swim in it because the top would need to be completely sealed from evaporation.
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2015
"Otherwise the idea of using swimming pools as A/C heatsinks would not work in the first place: if they didn't lose massive amounts of heat continuously, the water temperature would keep rising and rising until you couldn't swim in it any longer."
-------------------------------------------------

Eikka, you have been Wikied! I showed you how to do it without any evaporation, using just the specific heat of the water. The pool needs heat,. while the house is dumping it. It is very straightforward,but it was my entry, so otto and you decided to not like it.

If you cannot find who has already done it, then the failure is yours. I suggest a short course in double-duct to VAV conversion.

gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2015
Mike, you studied EE? I was a Test Engineer for National Semi, and the LM555 was my first product. I designed special cables and fixtures, then tuned the computer program and the timing of the Measurement Systems to the device, and we put them out by the millions.

Did you get into herterodyning? IFs? In the war, I heterodyned an unmodulated signal generator into a connection with the antenna and a VHF-101, to get the base radio station. It was just in time to hear us lose the Scorpion as it happened. We are still lying about that disaster, and it still haunts me.
Mike_Massen
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 25, 2015
gkam asked
Mike, you studied EE?
Western Australian Institute of Technology,1976-1982, whilst business design PCBs & component sales, incl HP-41C :-)

gkam
I was a Test Engineer for National Semi, and the LM555 was my first product
Great, used it many times, versatile device. We ran out of them for a while and turned to the 74C14 which allowed 6 RC independent timers with diodes for logic, basic but reliable.

gkam
I designed special cables and fixtures, then tuned the computer program and the timing of the Measurement Systems to the device, and we put them out by the millions
My earliest s/w was on NS SC/MP & the NS PACE-16, used by Mt Newman Mining on their nucleonic ore flow gauges with Cs137 beta sources measuring relative absorption of a column of falling iron ore, fed into Foxboro baffles & seive screens to grade ore, one site at Port Hedland ~12, wore film rad badges, nothing showed :-)

EE mostly control systems & only turnkey RF telemetry
Mike_Massen
2.7 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2015
Eikka stated
Yes, it is a good idea - but pools still lose heat. That's why you keep heating them
This isn the case here in Western Australia much at all, many domestic pools have enough stable temps year round

Eg
Summer around 40C, winter 22C, some pools to 24C Summer down to 17C Winter.

Eikka claims
..using swimming pools as A/C heatsinks would not work in the first place: if they didn't lose massive amounts of heat continuously, the water temperature would keep rising
LOL, far more likely it loses esp above ground. Australia is perfect, Summer small rise in H2O temp tolerable, in any case some heat lost at cool nights primarily evaporation/radiative.

For winter with wood stove one could plumb in pipes to move some of that heat through to warm bedrooms & also cycle to pool so its bit warmer for that morning wakeup.

Only issue here is to manage evaporation as water costs rose but, most have water tanks for rain anyway so all depends ie not turnkey !
gkam
2 / 5 (8) Apr 25, 2015
My film badges we wore working on the beams showed nothing either, but we all know we got something. The big problem there was the X-rays produced by the beam interacting with metals. Typical X-ray units use kV,but we were in the 1-3 MV area, and produced higher-energy rays.

The National 555's were second-sourced from Signetics, but we had to do our own design and production engineering. Good learning experience.

We ran the entire test area in Digital, ten handlers and probers on one Teradyne J-283, using the 18-bit M-365 Computing Controller.

We needed several different systems for the linear devices.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2015
You can help evaporation, and drastically reduce heat loss from the surface, and even protect your little kids and animals from falling in and drowning, with an insulated pool cover: https://www.googl...oe=utf-8

The weather situation in California, especially in the interior and southern portions of the state, are much like Western Australia, and using the pool for a heat sump would work well here too. In fact, there are even "solar" pool covers that will add heat from the Sun. There are claims that they pay for themselves in reduced pool heating costs, but I view that with a certain amount of skepticism; their figures seem a bit optimistic.

How much it would help would be dependent on the local weather, but every little bit helps.
Mike_Massen
2.7 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2015
Da Schneib spoke
.. can help evaporation, and drastically reduce heat loss from the surface, and even protect your little kids and animals from falling in and drowning, with an insulated pool cover
oops stating 'help' in this context surely, does NOT mean 'help it along' or increase, guess you Really meant to retard it, NOT help evaporation. Pool heating for wimps !

Into Science Communication & cognisant the unwary often misread & pass on with little thought is one further reason I'll continue to hassle likes of Water_Prophet & especially so as need to focus on Science essentials with as much precision as we can muster & less likely to be misconstrued...

Da Schneib stated
.. weather situation in California, especially in the interior and southern portions of the state, are much like Western Australia
Indeed Perth, appears as San Diego, except where I live in hills with great views at some 230m > Sea L is generally 2 to 3C cooler than on the 'plain'
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2015
Ahhh, the perils of folks who *think* they speak the same language!

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