Today refrigeration takes a major portion in electricity consumption. Machines using the magneto caloric effect (MCE) either for cooling or heating in a heat pump cycle offer the potential of increasing the efficiency to values of 30% to 40% compared to the standard refrigerant compressor technologies. Hence similar reductions CO2 and other pollutants released from the power plants can be saved. In e-cars there is no exhaust heat from the combustion available for heating the passenger compartment so the battery has to provide valuable electricity. MCE-based air conditioning systems may increase the operational range by 30%.
For the time being there is no MCE-machine available which can compete on the on the refrigerant compressor market. The Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW) has developed a number of MCE-materials. They provide the basis for the development of a demonstrator proving the technical and economical efficiency. The Technical University of Dresden is full partner in this project.
Commercial exploitation of the results is planned in terms of license allocation to industries or formation of a spin-off company.