Your next refrigerator may be cooled by magnets!


Have you ever wondered how much energy or gases your refrigerator consumes? The days of using refrigerant to cool down your food may be very well behind us thanks to some new technology. This cooling technology is based on magnetocaloric effect; that transfers heat from the interior of the fridge to the outside of the unit. The effect can be traced back to first being observed back way in the early 1900’s. With today’s technology and manufacturing breakthrough, refrigeration by magnets is almost possible thanks to General Electric.

If you can think back to the first computers (they took up whole rooms), you can probably realize why this technology hasn’t taken off just yet – they are simply too bulky to be utilized. They also couldn’t make the fridges in a way that would be enough to keep food at a safe temperature. While conventional fridges have been around for a long time, they do offer some negatives such as refrigerant gas and running on constant electricity, the end of life stage will also be less costly and harmful to recycle these types of fridges because it will have no harmful chemicals.

The world has been using the compressor system for the last century for the refrigeration process, and GE now offers a system that can reduce the consumption of electricity by up to 20 percent compared to the standard that has held for such a long time. Fast forward to today, the magnetic refrigeration process is almost available to commercial customers today which will offer the benefits of reduced pollution to greenhouse gases, decreased energy consumption, and lower noise compared to the industry standard. There’s still a lot of work to be done to get this technology down to size to implement, but once that breakthrough is made this magnetic system also poses to effect any and all HVAC applications, which could impact nearly 60% of the electricity that the average household uses.

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