Is your fridge an energy hog? Do you even know how much power your fridge uses? Well, it can be quite a bit. Even the energy star fridges of today can easily use 1kWh per day. Older refrigerators can eat up 4kWh or more. So, how would a fridge that uses .4 kWh and is really cheap sound? Well, that is exactly what AC Hacker has made.
His “freezerator” originally started out as a upright freezer from craigslist for $125. He didn’t want to go the vertical freezer route for convenience sake. The freezer he got was nothing special. It is not even a real efficient model, its not an energy star model. But, freezers in general have a couple things going for them. They normally have more insulation than fridges. They are also built to keep themselves at a lower temperature, so your refrigeration system is probably built to be a little more efficient. These add up to lower power consumption, especially when you use it as a fridge instead of a freezer.
So, how do you convert a freezer into a freezerator? Well, its actually pretty simple to do, and cheap too. All you really need is one of these temperature controllers you see above, and some wire to hook things up. The controller for AC Hackers project was sourced off of ebay for $16. It even has a built in relay that can handle the freezerators power draw.
The new temperature controller simply controls power to the freezerator via a temperature probe that is currently just shoved in through the door opening. Since the freezerator’s original temperature control is set to a much lower temperature, it kicks on as soon as the new controller powers the freezerator up. When the temperature hits the new controllers cutoff point, power to the freezerator is shut off.
The freezerator has been in use for several months now and AC Hacker has been logging the energy use since day one. The average power usage is .395 kWh per day. He estimates that if he had started out with a nicer energy star rated freezer, his power usage would be closer to .275 kWh per day.
For more information, see AC Hacker’s forum thread.