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Magnetic refrigeration has its attractions

A DANISH university research team has claimed a major milestone in magnetic cooling by using the technology to lower the temperature of a room by 8.7°C.
Scientists at the Risø National Laboratory at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) succeeded in lowering the temperature of a room from 20°C to almost 11°C.

Known as the MagCool project, the research has attracted nearly £2m in new funding, which, along with investments from industrial partners like Danfoss, is expected to make it possible to introduce the first commercial applications of the technology by 2010.

Scientists believe that magnetic refrigeration is potentially more energy-efficient than current technology. They say its other benefits include the fact it has fewer moving parts subject to wear, could use water as the refrigerant and be far less noisy.

Christian Bahl, a postdoctoral student attached to the project expects the Danish University's demonstration model, which should be ready in 2010, to be practically silent.

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