Magnetic Refrigeration at Room Temperature

Unveiling a new magnetic refrigeration prototype developed at the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


July 17, 2009 from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)

The impact of synthetic refrigerants on the environment and newly imposed safety measures are forcing the cooling industry to seek solutions that remove or decrease the content of certain fluids in various refrigeration systems. To become free of synthetic refrigerants, an unceasing search has been underway for environmentally friendly and suitable new technologies that also enable energy savings.

Rising to the challenge, the Institute of Thermal Engineering (IGT) at the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland (HEIG-VD) in association with Cooltech Applications, Siemens and Nestlé have recently worked out the principle of a reciprocating magnetic cooling system, allowing a prototype to be presented to the worldwide community at swissnex San Francisco.

This research for future technologies is also oriented towards the use of ice slurry and CO2 hydrate slurry (indirect cooling technology), CO2 vapor compressor technology, thermo electric refrigeration, thermo acoustic refrigeration and magnetic refrigeration, which is considered one of the most promising solutions to replace traditional refrigeration systems.


6:30 pm   doors open
7:00 pm   presentation of the magnetic refrigerator prototype by Osmann Sari and Jean-Claude Heitzler
8:15 pm   reception and networking
9:00 pm   doors close



Prof. Dr. Osmann Sari

is Head of the Industrial Thermic & Systems (TiS) Laboratory, part of the Institute of Thermal Engineering at the Haute Ecole d’ingénierie et de Gestion du canton de Vaud. Previously Dr. Sari was a mechanical engineer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), RAD engineer at Asea Brown Bovery (ABB) Baden, 1979, and Head of Heat Transfer Group at EPFL, where he earned his PhD in 1989. Dr. Sari has also been project leader for several national and international projects applying phase change materials and ice slurry since 1996, and on magnetic refrigeration at room temperature.  He is also a member of the working groups “Phase Change Materials and Slurries for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning” and “Magnetic Refrigeration at Room Temperature” of the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR–IIF). The organizer of five international scientific conferences and business fora, Osmann Sari has also won, together with Joseph Brühlmeier and Peter W. Egolf, the Swiss Technology Award, amongst others. Dr. Sari also serves as an advisor to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as an expert for natural refrigerants and evaluation of refrigerants in developing countries.

Mr. Jean-Claude Heitzler

is General Manager of Cooltech Applications, a company created in 2003 that is focused on getting Magneto Caloric Refrigeration commercialized. Mr. Heitzler is an experienced engineer for the development of specific industrial machinery to enable reliable mass production. This approach of the magnetocaloric refrigeration has brought to invention and patent some of the principles necessary to make this technology competitive. Jean-Claude Heitzler and Christian Muller won in 2003 the French Award for creating and growing a company that develops and promotes magnetic refrigeration. This challenge was organized by the French Minister of Research and Industry. Jean-Claude Heitzler was, together with Christian Muller, nominated as best promising innovative company for the Magnetic Refrigeration technology by a jury of researchers and industry in a competition organized by the French Business Review Challenge and Ernst & Young. Their criteria were the market interest for this technology and the potential for future business opportunities. Since Cooltech-Applications has started its activity, many scientists and industrials involved or interested by this technology have placed Cooltech Applications as number one in the world.


Photo: Myleen Hollero