Magnetic Cooling with Thin Peltier Modules as Thermal Switches


Magnetic refrigeration is a promising alternative to the existing vapor-compression technology. The refrigerant of magnetic cooling is the magnetocaloric material whose temperature is controlled by applying/removing the magnetic field during the cooling cycle. In this work we consider the scenario where thin Peltier modules are used to control the heat flow in the magnetic cooling device. A phenomenological 3-parameter model is adopted to describe the Peltier modules, based on which we develop a simple numerical procedure to simulate the cooling device that includes both magnetocaloric materials and Peltier modules. Using coefficient of performance as the performance metric, we find that the inclusion of Peltier modules can greatly reduce the design complexity, particularly to simplify the pumping and valving systems of the working fluid. The same design concept can be applied to the cooling systems using solid refrigerants.