Themes: Materials, Energy
A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.
Current refrigerants will be banned in the near future because of their environmental impact and/or safety issues. Magnetic cooling promises to be the most efficient and viable alternative.
Advanced material research yielded an efficient magnetocaloric material that changes temperature when exposed to a changing magnetic field, enabling water-based heat pumps. These pumps are quiet, environmentally friendly and safe.
Two fully functioning prototypes have been built by the research's partners. Current bottleneck is the cost of the permanent magnets (not the magnetocaloric materials), but the concept is becoming increasingly economically viable.
Prof. dr. Ekkes Bruck