Pioneering Innovative, Zero-Carbon Refrigeration
Barocal Ltd is pioneering barocaloric cooling technology to satisfy low-carbon refrigeration requirements and provide a unique efficient solution for zero greenhouse warming potential (GWP) cooling.
Barocal Ltd is commercialising barocaloric cooling technology to satisfy low-carbon refrigeration requirements and provide a unique efficient solution for zero greenhouse warming potential (GWP) cooling. Barocaloric cooling technology exploits materials that undergo large thermal changes on application and removal of pressure. Barocal is a start-up built on research from the research laboratory of Xavier Moya at the University of Cambridge that is focused on developing cooling systems and partnering with leading refrigeration, air conditioning, and engineering-systems suppliers to use barocaloric cooling technology. Barocaloric technology supports effective zero-GWP cooling by eliminating greenhouse gases and staying ahead of Kigali, EU F- Gas and EU MAC emission reductions.
Our Founders are:
- Dr Xavier Moya, Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, and Director of Research at Barocal Ltd
- William Averdieck, CEng IMechE (University of Cambridge), Managing Director
Dr Xavier Moya
BAROCALORIC COOLING TECHNOLOGY
Proprietary organic solid materials developed at the Department of Materials Science, University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the Universitat de Barcelona and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, exhibit ‘giant’ barocaloric cooling effects when subjected to external pressures of up to 1000 bar. Hydrostatic pressure drives a transformation in the crystalline structure of the material with an associated change in thermal properties.
A reversible Brayton cycle can be used to provide continuous cooling using these barocaloric materials. Pressure is first applied to the barocaloric solid to stimulate an increase in temperature and a heat-transfer inert fluid is heated by the barocaloric mass to transfer the heat away. As pressure is released in the barocaloric materials, the material cools down in a reversible manner, and this cools the heat-transfer fluid which is used for external cooling. This pressure cycle is repeated to provide continuous cooling.
Organic barocaloric materials can exhibit similar cooling capacities to those achieved in commercial refrigerant gases (e.g. changes in entropy ΔS of 600 J/K/kg). A barocaloric cooling cycle provides the basis for a safer, more efficient refrigeration cycle than both traditional vapour compression cycles and thermoelectric systems, while providing zero global warming potential (GWP) outcomes.
• Where variable refrigerant flow (VRF) single-split air-conditioning systems are used for efficient comfort cooling in domestic and office environments
• A future proof zero-GWP alternative cooling system for R410A and R134 without losing the efficiency benefits of VRF after F -GAS phase down restrictions
• Where storing vaccines and medicines within critical temperatures limits is required
• Variable flow control permits efficiency to be maintained under changing external ambient conditions
• Where temperature cooling for electric vehicle (eV) batteries is critical for, dissipating heat during rapid battery charging regimes to extend battery life
• Where cooling is critical to extend life of temperature sensitive electronics
• For example used for logging and monitoring deep well drilling in oil and gas extraction since suitable for operation at high pressures (1000 bar) and high temperatures (200°C)
COMMERCIAL COOLING &REFRIGERATION
• Where low GWP cooling is required in supermarkets and food retail to store and display drinks, meat, fish, fruit and vegetables at specific temperatures
• Delivering zero GWP impacts while avoiding the flammability and charge size limitations constraints associated with low GWP hydrocarbon refrigerants such at R290
INDUSTRIAL & SCIENTIFIC
• Where processes and reaction cells must be cooled to exact temperatures below ambient for control of reactions and experiments
• Zero GWP cooling provided with efficient temperature control
Current refrigerants remain a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, in excess of 2% of global emissions. Common refrigerants R32 and R134a have a greenhouse warming potential of 675 and 1430 respectively.
EU F- Gas regulations and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol mandate emission reductions of 85%. These have stimulated the development of low greenhouse warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. However the adoption of low GWP refrigerants brings new technical challenges, including charge size and safety restrictions due to the flammable and toxic nature of NH3 (R-717) and hydrocarbon (R290) refrigerants. By contrast, barocaloric solids are inert and, safe and zero GWP, providing the basis for environmentally friendly, safe and efficient cooling.
CONTACT & PARTNERSHIPS
We plan to work directly with refrigeration companies, end users, engineering consultants and system integrators to develop and support systems that deliver the benefits of barocaloric cooling in real world applications. Please contact us for further information.