Layering strategies for active magnetocaloric regenerators using MnFePSi for heat pump applications

Diego Pineda Quijano*, Carlos Infante Ferreira, Ekkes Brück

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

The development of affordable magnetocaloric materials (MCM) with a giant magnetocaloric effect (MCE) has brought magnetocaloric heat pumps a step closer to commercialization. The narrow temperature range in which these materials exhibit a large MCE demands the use of several materials with Curie temperatures covering the temperature span of the heat pump in a so-called layered active magnetocaloric regenerator (AMR). How to place these materials in the AMR in terms of distribution of Curie temperatures and thickness of each layer is still a topic of study. In this research we used a one dimensional numerical model to unveil potential benefits of either using a distribution of Curie temperatures that follows a sigmoidal shape or using thicker layers at the cold and hot ends of the AMR along with a linear distribution of Curie temperatures. We found that these AMRs are less sensitive to changes in the hot and cold reservoir temperatures compared to an AMR that uses just a linear distribution of Curie temperatures with uniform layer length, but only the one with thicker ends produces similar heating capacities and second law efficiencies. The heating capacity of the simulated AMR with a sigmoidal distribution of Curie temperatures varies only 5.6 % in a high utilization scenario, flow rate 37.5 g/s and a frequency of 0.75 Hz, when the hot side temperature changes from 308 K to 312 K and the temperature span is 18 K while the corresponding change is 8.7 % for the AMR with thicker end layers, and 37.9 % for the one with a linear distribution of Curie temperatures. For the considered geometry and operating conditions, the maximum heating capacities with temperature span 27 K in the high utilization scenario are 28.6 W, 23.0 W, and 28.5 W, whereas the corresponding second law efficiencies are 33.2%, 27.3 %, and 32.7% for the AMRs with linear distribution of Curie temperatures, sigmoid distribution, and linear distribution with thicker ends respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120962
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Volume232
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Layered AMR
  • Layering strategies
  • Magnetocaloric heat pump
  • MnFePSi
  • Numerical simulation
  • Packed bed

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