MagBoost: Magnetocaloric booster micro-heat pump for district heating system

Published by lahde on

Low temperature district heating systems represent an important share of the future heating supply. Such systems utilize waste heat from different systems and the heat from renewable sources. Furthermore, they show a potential to be implemented as a link between various energy sectors. The low temperature level of the district heating network leads to lower heat losses, while enabling wide heat source diversification. However, it is important then to increase the temperature level with the end user. The temperature increase is usually achieved by so-called micro-booster for additional heating. From the energy efficiency point of view it is reasonable for such a booster to be a heat pump. The majority of such heat pumps are based on the so called vapour-compression technology. This technology faces serious obstacles in its future use, since small devices demonstrate low energy efficiency. Moreover, the use of environmentally harmful refrigerants further limits the potentials of vapour-compression. The most promising alternative technology to replace the vapour-compresion in the future is magnetocaloric technology.
The main goal of the research project MagBoost is to develop a magnetocaloric booster micro-heat pump for a low temperature district heating system. The advantage of magnetocaloric technology, in comparison to state-of-the-art vapour-compression technology, is in potentially higher energy efficiency, use of environmentally friendly refrigerants and in silent, vibration-less operation.