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Could a team of scientists redefine the refrigerator?

Modern society would not be what it is today without refrigeration. This longstanding technology allows us to store perishable food for longer periods of time than we otherwise would have been able. With refrigeration, we can transport goods over long distances, even in oppressively hot climates.

Current refrigerators use compressors to push a coolant chemical through a series of tubes, thus transferring heat from inside the unit to the outside. It is a system that has served the appliance well over the years. But is it the best way? According to a recent article in The Verge, a team of scientists is working on a solution that they feel will lead to better efficiency.

Oddly enough, it requires the reimagining of some old technology—specifically, the use of the magnetocaloric effect, which was first developed in the 1880s by German physicist Emil Warburg. He observed that certain metals heated up when in the presence of a magnetic field and cooled off when they were not.

Using this idea, scientists have been able to create a magnetic heat pump that they believe will be 20 percent more efficient than current refrigerator pumps.

It will still take a significant amount of work. According to the news source, the team has built a pump that is about the size of a cart. Their goal is to keep working on it in the design lab until it reaches a more manageable size.

At Sozo Design, we know how much hard work goes into new product design, especially when it comes to industrial equipment and appliances as they tend to have a longer lifespan than your average mobile device or consumer product. We take all these circumstances into account in our development so this longer product lifetime is an enjoyable experience for the intended users.

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