Designing a magnet for magnetic refrigeration

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    This thesis investigates the design and optimization of a permanent magnet assembly for use in a magnetic refrigeration device. The heart of magnetic refrigeration is the adiabatic temperature change in the magnetocaloric material which is caused by the magnetic field. In order to design an ideal magnet assembly the magnetocaloric materials and the refrigeration process itself and their properties and performance as a function of magnetic field are investigated. For the magnetocaloric materials it is the magnetization, specific heat capacity and adiabatic temperature that are investigated as functions of the magnetic field. Following this the process utilized by a magnetic refrigerator to provide cooling is investigated using a publicly available one dimensional numerical model. This process is called active magnetic regeneration (AMR). The aim is to determine the performance of the AMR as a function of the magnetic field in order to learn the properties of the optimal magnet assembly. The performance of the AMR as a function of the synchronization and width of the magnetic field with respect to the AMR cycle, the ramp rate and maximum value of the magnetic field are investigated. Other published magnet designs used in magnetic refrigeration devices are also evaluated, using a figure of merit based on the properties of the investigated magnetocaloric materials, to learn the properties of the best magnet designs to date. Following this investigation the Halbach cylinder, which is a hollow permanent magnet cylinder with a rotating remanent flux density, is investigated in detail as it forms the basis of many magnet designs used in magnetic refrigeration. Here the optimal dimensions of a Halbach cylinder, as well as analytical calculations of the magnetic field for a Halbach cylinder of infinite length, are presented. Once it has been determined which properties are desirable for a magnet used in magnetic refrigeration the design of a new magnet is described. This is a high performance cylindrical magnet for use in a new magnetic refrigeration device being built at Risø DTU. This magnet design must have alternating regions of high and low magnetic field. As a basis for the magnet design the concentric Halbach cylinder design is chosen. This design is then optimized by employing several developed optimization schemes that lower the flux density in a specific region and lower the amount of magnet material used in a given magnet assembly. These schemes are applied to a numerical model of the magnet design. Afterwards the magnet design is dimensioned and segmented to allow construction. This design has been constructed and the flux density measured. Finally, the magnetic forces internally in the magnet design and on the magnetocaloric material inside the magnet assembly have been analyzed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde
    PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
    Number of pages360
    ISBN (Print)978-87-550-3806-6
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


    • Magnetic refrigeration
    • Fuel Cells and Hydrogen
    • Risø-PhD-57(EN)
    • Risø-PhD-57
    • Risø-PhD-0057


    Cite this

    Bjørk, R. (2010). Designing a magnet for magnetic refrigeration. Technical University of Denmark. Risø-PhD, No. 57(EN)