From left to right: Dr. Kilian Bartholomé, Dr.-Ing. Olaf Schäfer-Welsen (both Fraunhofer IPM), Timur Sirman, Dr. Maximilian Fries (both MAGNOTHERM)

Magnetic cooling is seen as an important building block for environmentally friendly refrigeration of the future, as it promises up to 3 times higher efficiencies than existing systems - without using climate-damaging, explosive or toxic refrigerants. Instead, the cold is generated by a magnet and temperature-active metals called magnetocaloric materials. No market-ready magnetic coolers have yet been introduced.

Gas compressors have been used to provide cooling as well as heating for over 100 years and have been optimized for efficiency. However, they cause 10% of the global greenhouse gases and consume 20% of the globally available electrical energy. Regulations such as the European F-gas regulation ban the majority of refrigerants used and only allow explosive, toxic or otherwise problematic refrigerants.

MAGNOTHERM has now introduced the first magnetic beverage cooler, POLARIS, which makes the promises a reality and represents a major step towards market readiness.

The device delivers a cooling capacity of approx. 40 watts at a temperature span of 20 Kelvin and is capable of cooling a refrigerated volume of 75 liters to approx. 5°C. The device works purely magnetically and does not use any problematic refrigerants. A permanent magnet generating 0.85 Tesla magnetic field cyclically heats and cools the magnetocaloric material. A water-based system is used to extract the cold from the material and then pump it into the cooling volume.

"We are very pleased to be able to achieve a major milestone in the development of magnetic cooling technology with POLARIS. The team has worked very hard on this and I thank everyone who contributed to this success," said Dr. Maximilian Fries, Co-CEO and Co-founder of MAGNOTHERM.