Magnetic refrigerator for hydrogen liquefaction

  • Numazawa, T. (National Institute for Materials Science) ;
  • Kamiya, K. (Japan Atomic Energy Agency) ;
  • Utaki, T. (Osaka University) ;
  • Matsumoto, K. (Kanazawa University)
  • Received : 2013.06.28
  • Accepted : 2013.06.30
  • Published : 2013.06.30


This paper reviews the development status of magnetic refrigeration system for hydrogen liquefaction. There is no doubt that hydrogen is one of most important energy sources in the near future. In particular, liquid hydrogen can be utilized for infrastructure construction consisting of storage and transportation. Liquid hydrogen is in cryogenic temperatures and therefore high efficient liquefaction method must be studied. Magnetic refrigeration which uses the magneto-caloric effect has potential to realize not only the higher liquefaction efficiency > 50 %, but also to be environmentally friendly and cost effective. Our hydrogen magnetic refrigeration system consists of Carnot cycle for liquefaction stage and AMR (active magnetic regenerator) cycle for precooling stages. For the Carnot cycle, we develop the high efficient system > 80 % liquefaction efficiency by using the heat pipe. For the AMR cycle, we studied two kinds of displacer systems, which transferred the working fluid. We confirmed the AMR effect with the cooling temperature span of 12 K for 1.8 T of the magnetic field and 6 second of the cycle. By using the simulation, we estimate the total efficiency of the hydrogen liquefaction plant for 10 kg/day. A FOM of 0.47 is obtained in the magnetic refrigeration system operation temperature between 20 K and 77 K including LN2 work input.


Magnetic refrigeration;Magnetocaloric effect;Hydrogen;Liquefaction


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