Magnetic Refrigeration May Be the Wave of the Future
When you call Icecool Trailers for same-day cold room hire, we deliver a trailer or walk-in room designed and constructed according to principles that have not changed much in more than 100 years. Our units rely on a compressor system and the time-tested principle of lowering temperature by expanding and compressing a refrigerant gas. However, it appears as though the days of gas refrigerants are quickly coming to a close. What will replace gas? Magnets are a very strong candidate.
Scientists and refrigeration experts are currently hard at work developing magnetic systems that could, theoretically, provide all the cold storage we need without any refrigerant gas or compressor units. The idea is based on the principle of removing the magnetic field from a given space.
As Forbes' contributor Hilary Brueck explains, a substance experiences an increase in temperature when it is magnetised. A subsequent cooling can be achieved by removing that same magnetic field. Magnetic refrigeration uses a combination of water, magnets, and magneto-caloric materials to demagnetise a given area in order to reduce temperature.
Limited Refrigerant Possibilities
It used to be that there were plenty of refrigerant gases manufacturers could choose from. Nevertheless, as you know, various international governments have been banning the gases one by one because of the potential threat to the environment. This is good on the one hand. On the other hand, however, we are not coming up with new refrigerant gases fast enough to replace those that are being left behind. If this trend continues, the industry will have no choice but to adopt new technologies for refrigeration.
Magnetic refrigeration is near the top list because it is environmentally friendly. The right system can be deployed for a retail refrigerator, walk-in freezer, medical cold room, or residential unit with very effective results. The only major impediment at this point is cost. According to Brueck, that cost is directly related to most of the magneto-caloric materials now in use. These materials also happen to be rare and expensive natural materials.
Now the race is on to come up with new magneto-caloric materials that can be synthetically manufactured at a more affordable price. The first one to come up with such material could significantly influence the future of magnetic refrigeration. A breakthrough could occur quite soon, perhaps in as little as the next 6 to 12 months.
Our 1.8M freezer room is the smaller of our two freezer rooms. The cubic capacity of the 1.8M walk-in freezer is approximately 5 cubic metres. Please bear in mind that it is unlikely that you would ever be able to use 100% of the internal space; if in doubt about capacity, customers should also consider our 3.0M freezer room option.
From Lab to Production
We are keeping an eye on magnetic refrigeration research as it moves forward. That said, it would be some time before any viable products make it from the lab to production. That means companies such as ours will continue to work with refrigerated trailers and walk-in freezers utilising the latest compressor technology.
Icecool Trailers is proud to serve the Greater London area with same-day cold room hire as well as long-term rental of both trailers and walk-in units. For more than 20 years, we have served England's caterers, restaurateurs, medical facilities, technology companies, and educational institutions with reliable and affordable portable refrigeration. Please call us for two-hour service in Greater London should you experience a refrigeration emergency. We strive for same-day or next-day service elsewhere.
1.Forbes – http://www.forbes.com/sites/hilarybrueck/2015/05/06/magnet-fridge/