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Challenge #131

Developing environmentally friendly cooling with magnetic materials.

We develop the cooling systems of tomorrow: They work in an environmentally friendly and resource-saving manner. And to this, we use a trick from nature.

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In 40 years, humanity is expected to expend more energy on cooling than on heating. The approximately three billion household refrigerators worldwide are already leaving a huge ecological footprint.

At the Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory we are therefore looking for new, sustainable and environmentally friendly cooling technologies. We use a helpful trick from nature for this: Certain metals and alloys suddenly change temperature when they come close to magnets: The so-called magnetocaloric effect.

Building on this, we at the Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) are developing and investigating new materials that can be used to manufacture environmentally friendly cooling devices that are not dependent on valuable raw materials.

These materials are likely to be too expensive for domestic refrigerators. However, for applications in data centers or in medical technology, they could quickly bring returns, and thus contribute to the reduction of the impact caused by cooling on the climate.

Image: HZDR / Juniks

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