As the world aggressively investigates new refrigerants to replace environmentally dangerous HCFCs, an entirely different segment of the industry is pursuing magnetic refrigeration. Now, a brand-new research report from MarketsandMarkets (M&M) suggests there may be a very good future for this new method of refrigeration; perhaps it will eventually make its way to our refrigerated trailers and walk-in cold rooms.
According to the report, the magnetic refrigeration market is expected to grow considerably over the next 6 to 7 years. M&M estimates the market to be worth some £201.5 million by 2022; they are expecting growth in excess of 98% between 2017 and 2022.
The driving force behind magnetic refrigeration is increasing knowledge of how damaging refrigerants used in the compression cycle can be to the environment. Even with less dangerous chemicals and natural refrigerants, the compression cycle always presents the risk of environmental exposure; a risk to the environment can never be completely obliterated. Magnetic refrigeration seems to be the best alternative thus far because it does not utilise the compression cycle or gas refrigerants that can be released into the atmosphere due to malfunction or servicing.
The largest of our freezer trailers, the 3.0m is popular with caterers, hotels and restaurants. Especially useful where a freezer breakdown has occurred or where extra frozen food storage is required.
Magnetic Refrigeration Explained
Magnetic refrigeration relies on the principle of the magnetocaloric effect. In simple terms, there are certain materials (known as ferromagnetic materials) that change temperature based on their exposure to magnetic fields. Refrigeration can be achieved by exposing a substance such as gadolinium to a magnetic field, thereby increasing its temperature, then moving it into a warm space and depriving it of that same magnetic field. This transition causes the temperature of the material to drop rapidly, thereby enabling it to absorb ambient heat. It can then be transferred again and exposed to the magnetic field in order to release the absorbed heat.
Scientists have achieved rather impressive results with magnetic refrigeration on a large scale. The question for our industry is whether it can be adapted for use in freezer and refrigerated trailers or walk-in freezers and cold rooms. To make that possible, engineers will have to scale the technology down while also making it affordable.
We imagine there will be a day when our trailers and walk-in cold rooms could be designed around magnetic refrigeration. Until that day comes, we will continue offering our customers traditional refrigeration equipment in London and throughout England and Wales, for virtually any need.
1.PR Newswire – http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/magnetic-refrigeration-market-worth-3157-million-usd-by-2022-521264021.html