The Next Generation of Energy Efficient Refrigerators Could Be Powered by Magnets
In the latest tech news, refrigerators are literally going to run on magnetic power. General Electric (GE) is developing refrigerators that run on magnets, a big change from the original, 100-year-old refrigeration technology still used today.
GE’s magnetically-run refrigerator prototype channels a water-based fluid through magnets to bring about a magnetocaloric effect, where the temperature of metal alloys changes depending on the alloys’ proximity to the magnets, according to CNET. The closer an alloy is to a magnet, the hotter it gets; the farther away it is, the colder.
GE successfully tested the prototype on bottles of Coors Light, chilling the beer to an ideal drinking temperature. As GE continues to make way in what lead researcher Venkat Venkatakrishnan calls the “refrigerator revolution,” more and more benefits of the new system will arise. GE believes that magnetic-run fridges will be 20-30% more efficient than current refrigeration systems, eliminating the need for chemical refrigerants, reducing energy consumption and making it easier to recycle refrigerators.
The new generation of refrigerators could be on the market within a decade, which would be good for both the environment and everyone. Check out the behind-the-scenes video on the magneticocaloric refrigerator and how it works: