Refrigeration is one of the main sinks of the German and European electricity consumption and accordingly contributes to worldwide CO2 emissions.
High reduction potentials are envisaged if caloric effects in solid materials are utilized. The recent discovery of giant entropy changes associated with
ferroelastic phase transformations promises higher efficiency. Ferroic transitions enhance the entropy change of magneto-, elasto-, baro- and electro-caloric effects.
Furthermore, because the refrigerant is in a solid state, the technology completely eliminates the need for high global-warming potential halofluorocarbon refrigerants.
The smaller footprint for operation and the scalable mechanism open up further applications such as cooling of microsystems. While the principal feasibility of
magnetocaloric refrigeration is already evident, the requirement of a large magnetic field (> 2 T) hampers wide industrial and commercial applications. It is expected
that this obstacle can be overcome by materials with lower hysteresis and by using other types of fields (stress, electric).
In order to accelerate research on ferroic cooling DFG decided to establish the priority program SPP 1599 in April 2011. This SPP will address the following major challenges for introducing ferroic materials in practical cooling applications: Understanding of the underlying mechanisms, energy efficiency, effect size, fatigue, and system integration.
Projects proposals are required to cover one of the following "ferroic-caloric" material classes or combinations thereof: ferroelastic, ferromagnetic and ferroelectric materials. Proposals have to focus on basic or applied aspects of solid-state cooling processes.
In detail, the research programme of the priority programme will focus on four key problems related to ferroic cooling:
The complexity of ferroic cooling requires a close collaboration of materials scientists, engineers, physicists and mathematicians. The aim of this priority programme is to bring groups from these disciplines together to combine their complementary expertise from basic research to application. Therefore joint proposals or bundles of proposals are encouraged. The number of principal investigators should reflect the complementary scientific expertise needed for the proposed research. These proposals should aim at a comprehensive assessment of efficiency of solid-state refrigeration, addressing the route from materials fundamentals to demonstrators. Proposals addressing methodological aspects relevant for understanding solid-state refrigeration must give detailed plans for bilateral cooperation with particular partners.
Proposals considering liquid/ gaseous or thermoelectric refrigerants or focussing on actuation/sensor applications alone will not be funded. Also, concepts which aim on electric power generation will not be considered.
+++ next conference: September 16 - 20, 2018 ++ Thermag 2018 ++ Darmstadt, Germany +++
20. + 21.10.2011 Kick-off for all interested scientists in Dresden
November 2011 Public call for proposals
09.03.2012 Deadline for submission of proposals
Summer 2012 Evaluation
Autumn 2012 Start of project