Heating & cooling without harmful refrigerants

MagCon project

Magnetocalorics: Development of refrigerant-free, highly efficient heat pumps for heating and cooling

The aim of the project was to develop highly efficient heat pumps – without refrigerants and without a compressor – based on the magnetocaloric effect. In addition to dispensing with climate-damaging refrigerants, this principle can increase the energy efficiency of heat pumps by 20 to 30 percent and significantly reduce noise emissions. Leap innovations in magnetocaloric materials in recent years and a new concept for thermal connection have made it possible to develop heat pumps with a coefficient of performance* > 5 and 300 W heat pump capacity. The new technology is suitable for many applications e.g. in household, industry, commerce and transport.

In the MagCon project, a novel system concept was realized that enables cycle frequencies and cooling power densities an order of magnitude greater than the values described in the literature to date. The concept is based on heat transfer from the caloric material to the heat exchangers by evaporation and condensation of a heat transfer fluid. This requires shape-bound magnetocaloric materials that have a high magnetocaloric effect.

Within the scope of MagCon, various simulation models have been developed which can be used to predict and model the complete caloric cooling system. In addition, models were established to show the caloric effect of the caloric material and the magnetic hysteresis in the material. Different magnet systems were simulated to select the most suitable one.

Project partners
Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM (coordination)
Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM

Project term
01.02.2016 – 31.12.2019

Project funding

*The coefficient of performance indicates the ratio of generated cooling or heating power to the electrical power used.