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Comparing superconducting and permanent magnets for magnetic refrigeration
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We compare the cost of a high temperature superconducting (SC) tape-based solenoid with a permanent magnet (PM) Halbach cylinder for magnetic refrigeration. Assuming a five liter active magnetic regenerator volume, the price of each type of magnet is determined as a function of aspect ratio of the regenerator and desired internal magnetic field. It is shown that to produce a 1 T internal field in the regenerator a permanent magnet of hundreds of kilograms is needed or an area of superconducting tape of tens of square meters. The cost of cooling the SC solenoid is shown to be a small fraction of the cost of the SC tape. Assuming a cost of the SC tape of 6000 $/m2 and a price of the permanent magnet of 100 $/kg, the superconducting solenoid is shown to be a factor of 0.3-3 times more expensive than the permanent magnet, for a desired field from 0.5-1.75 T and the geometrical aspect ratio of the regenerator. This factor decreases for increasing field strength, indicating that the superconducting solenoid could be suitable for high field, large cooling power applications.
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