basf’s magnetocaloric cooling technology is being showcased for the first time in a proof-of-concept wine cooler at the international consumer electronics show (ces) in las vegas, us.
magnetocaloric materials were developed by ekkes brück, a materials researcher at delft university of technology in the netherlands, and licensed by basf in 2013. the materials, which are made from manganese and iron, heat up when placed in a magnetic field and cool down when removed from the magnetic field.
the prototype wine cooler has been made with household appliance manufacturer haier and technology firm astronautics corporation of america.
“together with our research colleagues who are well-experienced in functional materials as well as in systems solutions and modelling, we developed this innovative class of materials,” says basf new business managing director andreas riehemann.
“together with our partners we can develop tailor-made functional materials for our customers’ cooling applications.”expertise at astronautics enabled the magnetocaloric materials, now dubbed quice by basf, into a magnetocaloric heat pump, while haier designed the consumer-friendly wine cooler using the technology.
refrigeration systems based on quice could be up to 35% more energy-efficient than conventional vapour-compression cooling systems, and use water-based coolants rather than gaseous refrigerants. basf also believes that such cooling systems will be quieter.
tao xie, director of disruptive technology at haier america tech center says: “the magnetocaloric wine cooler prototype shows great promise to help our customers save energy, cut utility bills, and reduce operating noise. as an environmentally-friendly technology that produces zero ozone-depleting gases or greenhouse gases, it is a technology haier is aggressively pursuing.”haier plans to launch the technology on the consumer market within the next couple of years.
ces is held every year and has served to launch some major innovations in consumer electronics, including the camcorder, the cd player, digital radio, tablet computers and dvds. this year it runs from 6–9 january.
more information on basf's new material can be found at http://www.basf-new-business.com/en/businesses/e-power-management/solid-state-cooling/