Magnetocaloric, Household Refrigeration
Magnetocaloric cooling is currently a prospering field of scientific investigations. Especially in the last decades a significant increase in research activities took place, mainly with the aim to find a competitive substitution for conventional cooling techniques - primarily with a special focus to vapor compression cycles. At least from a theoretical standpoint magnetocaloric cooling has the potential to exceed efficiencies of conventional cycles. However, there are still a number of challenges that need to be overcome. This paper is intended to give an overview on the status quo of magnetocaloric cooling near room temperature with respect to household refrigeration. Basic data regarding materials and magnet field generation are discussed. The most powerful demonstrators so far published in literature are analyzed and compared to performance requirements for standard household refrigerators. Several hand calculations and further comparisons are used to emphasize the crucial points that will be decisive on whether magnetocaloric is a future option for household refrigeration or not.