next refrigerator might not even have a compressor.
Appliances is developing magnetic refrigeration for
residential use, a technology that needs no refrigerants
or compressors and promises to increase the energy
efficiency of refrigerators by 20 percent.
refrigeration — technically called magnetocaloric
refrigeration — is not a new concept, but it hasn’t
yet been used in residential refrigeration. That should
happen within five years, the company said in a news
how GE describes the technology:
system uses a water-based fluid rather than a chemical
refrigerant such as Freon to transfer heat from inside
the refrigerator and achieve the cooling process.
Instead of a compressor, magnets are used to create a
magnetic field that agitates particles in the fluid
causing it to cool. The strength of the magnetic fields
determines how cold the fluid becomes, and in turn, how
quickly it cools the refrigerator."
lack of refrigerant also will make recycling used
refrigerators easier and cheaper, noted Venkat
Venkatakrishnan, GE Appliances’ director of advanced