Article

A regenerative elastocaloric heat pump

  • Nature Energy 1, Article number: 16134 (2016)
  • doi:10.1038/nenergy.2016.134
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Abstract

A large fraction of global energy use is for refrigeration and air-conditioning, which could be decarbonized if efficient renewable energy technologies could be found. Vapour-compression technology remains the most widely used system to move heat up the temperature scale after more than 100 years; however, caloric-based technologies (those using the magnetocaloric, electrocaloric, barocaloric or elastocaloric effect) have recently shown a significant potential as alternatives to replace this technology due to high efficiency and the use of green solid-state refrigerants. Here, we report a regenerative elastocaloric heat pump that exhibits a temperature span of 15.3 K on the water side with a corresponding specific heating power up to 800 W kg−1 and maximum COP (coefficient-of-performance) values of up to 7. The efficiency and specific heating power of this device exceeds those of other devices based on caloric effects. These results open up the possibility of using the elastocaloric effect in various cooling and heat-pumping applications.

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Acknowledgements

Jaka T. would like to acknowledge the support of DTU’s international H.C. Ørsted postdoc program and the Slovenian Research Agency (project no. Z2-7219) for supporting this work. The authors would like to thank TKC d.o.o., Ljubljana for performing the laser welding of the elastocaloric regenerators.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Technical University of Denmark, Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Riso Campus, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark

    • Jaka Tušek
    • , Kurt Engelbrecht
    • , Dan Eriksen
    • , Stefano Dall’Olio
    •  & Nini Pryds
  2. University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Aškerčeva 6, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    • Jaka Tušek
    •  & Janez Tušek

Authors

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Contributions

Jaka T., K.E. and N.P. conceived the idea, designed the experiment and wrote the paper. D.E. and S.D. helped with the experimental design and running the experiments. Janez T. managed the laser-welding of the elastocaloric regenerator. N.P. supervised the project.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Jaka Tušek or Kurt Engelbrecht or Nini Pryds.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Figures 1–10, Supplementary Table 1 and Supplementary Reference.

Videos

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Video 1

    Demonstration of operation of the elastocaloric device captured with an infrared (IR) camera from the initial state until the steady state conditions are reached (the colour scale is in C).