Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Mechanical Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering, PhD

Committee Chair

Brehob, Ellen

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Gerber, Erin

Committee Member

Park, Sam

Committee Member

Kelecy, Andrea

Author's Keywords

magnetocaloric; variability; material properties; variation; simulation


In the field of magnetocaloric heat pumps much research has been performed around machine design and theoretical machines, but little has been researched around practical problems such as variability in material properties. The present work defines a simulation tool that has been proven with experimental data. Magnetocaloric material cascades were statistically analyzed and parameterized, such that they could be recreated parametrically using a split Lorentz function with normally distributed parameters. Correlated curve-defining values with standard deviations were used as input into the simulation tool to determine the effect of variation on cooling heat pump performance for a household refrigerator application. A 10% reduction in efficiency and cooling power density occurred on average with the addition of material variability. Data from the study was further used to estimate system magnetic cost at greater than $1500 per heat pump. Strategies for dramatically lowering cost were also shown and discussed, backed by additional simulation data. Finally, a 400% percent increase in cost was shown as a result of material variation at current levels.