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Old 12-01-08, 01:40 PM   #1
Daox
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Default DIY Super efficient refrigerator

I had seen this before and forgot about it but stumbled across it again today. An Australian man converted a chest freezer into a refrigerator. He claims it uses only .1 kWh per day! To compare, my chest freezer uses almost 1.3 kWh per day, and my fridge is just a little less I think.

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects...est_fridge.pdf

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Old 12-01-08, 02:35 PM   #2
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It's a really good idea, but I think implementation is limited by the human body, and peoples comfort in getting at their milk and soda. Maybe the basic concept can be applied better to new fridge designs though?
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Old 12-01-08, 03:00 PM   #3
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I think the basic ideas of more insulation and it being a chest type instead of upright are the only real advantages. They just happen to be huge ones. I'm not sure how much the refrigeration system has to do with it.
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Last edited by Daox; 12-01-08 at 03:03 PM..
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Old 12-01-08, 06:38 PM   #4
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Woah, thats impressive. Funny how such a easy thing as moving the door to the top can do such difference. (First page of the pdf.)
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Old 12-10-08, 03:26 PM   #5
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What if you tool an old school Fridge ( top freeezer - standard doors) - and "mounted" it on its side with the door opening UP?
could you capitolize on the DOOR advantage and have FRIDGE and FREEZER?

we were thinking of tgetting a "scratch and dent" fridge for garage - maybe i will try this and see if it cools better than upright would....

steve
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Old 12-10-08, 04:04 PM   #6
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I would avoid this. You want to be careful how refrigeration units are placed, because the refrigerant can slosh around and get into parts of the system it's not supposed to be and this can cause pumping problems for the system. Most refrigerators even suggest leaving them unplugged for up-to 24 hours after simply moving them. Laying them down is a big no-no.
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Old 12-11-08, 01:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doofus McFancypants View Post
What if you tool an old school Fridge ( top freeezer - standard doors) - and "mounted" it on its side with the door opening UP?
could you capitolize on the DOOR advantage and have FRIDGE and FREEZER?
It won't work, the refrigeration system in an upright refrigerator is designed to work with the fridge upright.

Quote:

we were thinking of tgetting a "scratch and dent" fridge for garage - maybe i will try this and see if it cools better than upright would....

steve
Do you really need a fridge in the garage? Most people just use it to keep beer and pop cold. It would probably be more energy efficient to get a larger fridge. Unless, of course, you need to keep 96 cans of beer cold at all times. In which case you probably have bigger problems than just energy efficiency.


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Old 03-01-12, 03:17 PM   #8
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I found this page (thanks to Gasper) about a similar set-up which uses even less power - 90 Wh per day instead of 103 Wh.
Low power chest refrigerator
The difference here is that the fridge has thermal mass inside. Not just bottles of water like everyone does, but bottles of olive oil. Why? Because olive oil freezes at refrigerator temperatures, so the phase change stores more thermal energy than water does at that temp. This allows the compressor to be turned on only once a day for 30 minutes.

I started a new thread on phase change materials to keep this thread from getting too far off topic.
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Old 03-01-12, 03:50 PM   #9
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Is that reduction in power usage due to less often cycling of the compressor, or simply due to a little better insulation or a more efficient compressor?

I love the idea and the phase change material info is great! But, I have my doubts that that is exactly why this one is more efficient than the other.

It is a great idea for say PV use or time of use people. PV users could run the fridge during the day and time of use users can run their fridge at night when they pay less and go all day/night without it turning on. Even if you're not on time of use, it still would reduce peak usage which can help reduce peak power plant output which drives down costs for everyone.

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