Transforming waste heat into clean electricity
Let us explain…
The IPCC scientists are formal: human activities are causing a major climate change and intending to limit its damages on human societies will be the greatest challenge humanity ever had to face. If we want to limit global warming to 2°C compared to the preindustrial temperatures, we must quickly change our consuming behaviours, reduce our energy consumption, and find new cleaner energy sources.
In 2017, the French agency Ademe (Environment and Energy Control Agency) published a report on the fatal heat in France. They found that, in France only, more than 60 TWh of energy were lost every year in the form of cold fatal heat ( T < 60 °C), which is more than an eighth of the French annual energy consumption. The exploitation, even partial, of these sources could allow France to reduce by a factor of 4 its greenhouse gases emissions in 2050 compared to its 2004 level.
Our solution: from waste heat to electricity
Taking up this energy challenge is the full purpose of existence of our project. At Magnoric we work with great passion to develop applications to reduce our energy footprint. We follow two paths in parallel, based on the same technological core: magnetocalorics.
On one hand we develop cutting-edge refrigeration systems that will allow customers to greatly reduce their cooling electricity consumption. On the other hand, we conceive thermomagnetic motors to transform low temperatures waste heat sources into electricity.
This new technology, developed in less than a year, uses the same principles and components than magnetic refrigeration and therefore benefits from all the advantages of this technology. Magnetic refrigeration is based on the magnetocaloric effect which happens at the transition temperature between a ferromagnetic and paramagnetic state in some materials. The converter developed by Magnoric uses this transition between these two magnetic states and the intensity difference of the magnetic fields they create to move a wheel made of magnet and then produce electricity.
Some great advantages of the waste heat technology
This new technology has excellent characteristics but here are the most important:
It can work with temperature sources between – 80°C and + 100 °C, which are unreachable with the traditional conversion technologies like the Organic Rankine Cycle. Therefore, this new fatal heat converter will open completely new opportunities to produce electricity.
There is no compressor in our system, the only pressure we need is therefore the one necessary to make the fluid flow.
Our numerical model shows a great potential of efficiency for this application, twice better than the usual ORC devices.
This new converter uses the same elements than magnetic refrigeration and therefore share with it its main advantage. The cooling gases are today violently denounced because of their harmful effects on the environment and the international regulation (Montreal protocol, Kigali amendment) progressively ban them. Today, there is no replacement gas with properties good enough to comply with the regulation and to be massively used in refrigeration systems. A technology which do not use any cooling gas, and which is therefore not submitted to this very restrictive legislation is therefore extremely precious.
There is no theoretical limit to the power it can reach, making this new converter adjustable to any type of source.
From the concept to the demonstrator
This concept is not theory only anymore: Magnoric built a first Proof of Concept (POC) of this magnetic converter and proved the functioning. This first unit, originally a magnetic cooling prototype available in our lab, created a strong mechanical torque and showed the potential of the applications.
Magnoric is now launching its new R&D program with the ambition to conceive & develop internally its first demonstrator of waste heat conversion.
This unit will be assembled in 2023 and will be showcased in our facilities, proving to the world the potential of the technology!