MagnoTherm Wows the Sustainability Movement with Magnetocaloric Refrigerator 

Science meets cool. The Polaris magnetocaloric beverage cooler from MagnoTherm was a popular showstopper at sustainability event ChangeNow in Paris. 

Very few companies have mastered the science of magnetocalorics sufficiently to develop a commercial refrigerator, but perhaps none have also been successful in making the concept “cool” from a marketing standpoint. Now, though, a young academic spinoff company from Darmstadt, Germany is changing the landscape with its Polaris beverage refrigerator. 

The company is MagnoTherm Solutions GmbH, a pioneering upstart in sustainable cooling. It recently took part in ChangeNOW in Paris, a global event that unites change-makers from around the world to drive positive transformation for our planet. Dedicated to developing innovative solutions for a greener future, the company’s cutting-edge magnetocaloric materials have the potential to revolutionize cooling technologies, making them more efficient and sustainable. 

Magnetocaloric raw material 

Basically, certain materials heat up when brought into a magnetic field, a phenomenon called the magnetocaloric effect. Materials endowing this effect are called magnetocaloric materials. Using the magnetocaloric effect, a magnetic cooling cycle near room temperature is possible. Magnetocaloric materials include pure elements such as Gadolinium or alloys such as Lanthanum-iron-silicon (LaFeSi) or Iron-phosphorus (Fe2P). 

Polaris is driven 100% magnetically and cools down up to 150 beverages to 5°C. Cooling with the power of magnets, the beverage cooler contains a special metal which cools down by magnetic fields. Water spreads the cold of the metal within the device. Voila! Cool drinks, no refrigerator compressor needed. 

Their products range from refrigeration systems for supermarkets and hydrogen liquefaction to their unique Polaris series, branded as the world’s first magnetic beverage cooler available for rent and sale in Europe which it demonstrated at ChangeNOW. 

MS90 for testing magnetocaloric materials 

Other products from MagnoTherm include the MS90 materials testbench for testing magnetocaloric materials under real time conditions. The device is equipped with easily interchangeable material holders for testing various types of materials in active magnetic regenerators (AMR). The magnetic field source is a nested Halbach setup and achieves 1.15 T. The fluid flow of the heat exchange fluid as well as its phase shift in accordance to the magnetic field can be adjusted mechanically. The temperature change of the AMR is recorded via thermocouples which can be inserted into the material cartridges. 

MS 30 magnetocaloric effect demonstrator 

Another product by MagnoTherm is the MS30 for demonstrating the magnetocaloric effect. The device is driven by a hand crank. A magnet is moved over a capsule with magnetocaloric material while water is pumped through the system with a mechanically coupled piston pump. The magnetic field source is a Halbach permanent magnet and the magnetocaloric material is Gadolinium. A temperature span of 15K can be achieved within 60 seconds by cranking. The temperature change of the device is displayed on an integrated monitor. 

Like beverage dispensers, Polaris can be personalized for marketing impact in stores and at events. 
“We are an international group of engineers passionate about technology, sustainability, and cold beer,” says MagnoTherm. 

Founded in 2019, MagnoTherm is a spinoff from the Functional Materials group of Technical University Darmstadt, led by Professor Oliver Gutfleisch, intent on building a bridge between understanding magnetocaloric materials and engineering devices. As a deep tech start-up staffed by an interdisciplinary team of engineers, material scientists and physicists, the team pioneers magnetic refrigeration based on multi-physical simulations, additive manufacturing methods and fast testing cycles. 

No strangers to university campuses and research laboratories, company members are rooted in the scientific pursuit of advancement in magnetocalorics, as evidenced by two of its founders, Dr. Tino Gottschall and Prof. Oliver Gutfleisch, who serve as advisors to MagnoTherm. 

Dr. Tino Gottschall. Image credit: R. Weisflog/HZDR 

Gottschall is a leading scientist at the Helmholtz Centre Dresden-Rossendorf. He has extensive experience in the field of magnetic cooling and is regarded as a young offspring scientist in this field. In 2021 he was awarded the prestigious Nicholas Kurti Science Prize by Oxford Instruments NanoScience, in recognition for his innovative work on magnetocaloric materials in the field of fundamental and applied sciences. 

Prof. Oliver Gutfleisch 

Professor Oliver Gutfleisch is a pioneer in the fields of magnetic cooling and permanent magnets. He is one of the most cited scientists worldwide in this field and holds numerous patents. He is scientific director of the Fraunhofer Institute IWKS, and an authority on recycled magnets. In 2006, Gutfleisch and his partners founded the company evico magnetics GmbH. 

For more info, see