Faculté des Sciences appliquées
Faculté des Sciences appliquées

Design and instrumentation of an experimental system for magnetic refrigeration

Parmentier, Justine ULiège
Promotor(s) : Vanderbemden, Philippe ULiège ; Lemort, Vincent ULiège
Date of defense : 7-Sep-2017/8-Sep-2017 • Permalink :
Title : Design and instrumentation of an experimental system for magnetic refrigeration
Translated title : [fr] Conception et instrumentation d'un système expérimental de réfrigération basée sur l'effet magnétocalorique.
Author : Parmentier, Justine ULiège
Date of defense  : 7-Sep-2017/8-Sep-2017
Advisor(s) : Vanderbemden, Philippe ULiège
Lemort, Vincent ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Vanderheyden, Benoît ULiège
Embrechts, Jean-Jacques ULiège
Language : English
Keywords : [en] magnetocaloric effect
[en] magnetic refrigeration
[en] environmentally-friendly
[en] magnetic material
[en] magnetocaloric material
[en] gadolinium
[en] experimental system
Discipline(s) : Engineering, computing & technology > Multidisciplinary, general & others
Target public : Researchers
Professionals of domain
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en ingénieur civil physicien, à finalité approfondie
Faculty: Master thesis of the Faculté des Sciences appliquées


Nowadays climate change has become an important concern for people around the world. The
refrigeration industry is a highly polluting sector that represents alone around 15% of the overall
electric consumption. Typical coolants used in domestic and industrial refrigeration still involve
nocive gases, such as the chlorofluoro-carbons which are associated to a high ozone depletion
and global warming potential.
The search for more environmentally-friendly alternative has thus been rising greatly these
past few years. Among them, a noteworthy candidate of replacement for the most widely used,
steam-compression refrigeration technology, is the magnetocaloric effect-based refrigeration.
This one depends not on the thermal response of a gas to a change of pressure but on the one a
magnetocaloric material exhibits when subjected to a magnetic field variation. Many prototypes
based on the magnetocaloric effect arose recently, and the magnetic refrigeration shows promises
for the future of the industry. However it is still an active field of research.
In this work, the design and the instrumentation related to a magnetocaloric effect-based,
room-temperature refrigeration demonstrator are explored. A Halbach, cylindrical, 1.05 T-field
magnet will be utilized for building it. After having reviewed in details the underlying theory
of the magnetocaloric effect and surveyed some already existing devices, a preliminary thermal
study is performed numerically in order to help designing the prototype.
The material of choice for magnetic refrigeration is gadolinium, a rare earth whose magnetocaloric
effect appears close to the ambient temperature. Thin sheets of this material will
be used for the actual prototype, but first the force acting on them as they enter the field of
the magnet is experimentally studied. The influence of the distance between the middle of the
plates and the center of the magnet gap as well as other parameters are investigated, such as the
thickness or the weight of the sheets.
Examples of curves derived when measuring the force for one, two and eight plates at a
time inside the magnet and as a function of the distance to its center are visible in appendix.
The results observed show that this force is either maximum or minimum as the center of the
plates is at the exact level of the edge of the magnet yoke, whereas it cancels out once both
the magnet and the plates center align on each other. The force also increases linearly with the
number of plates. One sees in appendix a comparison between twice the force obtained for one
plate and the one measured for two plates. Both forces have very similar values, showing the
proportionality of this force to the number of sheets used.
At the end of this work the instrumentation needed to asses the performances of the prototype
is also characterized and tested. Finally, all the pieces required for making the actual prototype
are summarized and the possible future openings described. Along with the magnetic part of
the prototype, there is still need for a hydraulic circuit to be designed and constructed in order
for the device to be fully operating. (pdf is available in the files)



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  • Parmentier, Justine ULiège Université de Liège > Master ingé. civ. phys., à fin.


Committee's member(s)

  • Vanderheyden, Benoît ULiège Université de Liège - ULg > Dép. d'électric., électron. et informat. (Inst.Montefiore) > Electronique et microsystèmes
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Embrechts, Jean-Jacques ULiège Université de Liège - ULg > Dép. d'électric., électron. et informat. (Inst.Montefiore) > Techniques du son et de l'image
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Total number of views 87
  • Total number of downloads 147

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