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Inflatable Freezer

Inflatable Freezer for Ad-Hoc Storage of Lots of Food
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Imagine you come across a nice sale at a farmer's market and buy lots of produce. Imagine you make that occasional trip to the meat packing factory and come back with lots of meat. Or that trip to CostCo, etc. Maybe you're going to throw a party or hold a family gathering and you'll be needing lots of food.

Where are you suddenly going to come up with all that extra storage space and still keep everything from rotting under your nose? You need an inflatable freezer. Something you can take out of the closet, inflate, and plug in, to meet your needs.

There are already inflatable mattresses you can blow up for guests. Inflatable stuff for your pool or your lawn. Inflatable tents. To truly enjoy the warmer months, we need an inflatable freezer. When your need for it is over, you just unplug and deflate it, and stow it away.

The inflatable freezer can be as big as a regular large freezer or even bigger, and its inflated air-filled walls will reduce the conductive heat losses, to reduce power consumption. The same electric-powered motor which drives the compressor to keep it cold could even drive the air pump used to inflate it. The lid could have a plastic velcro seal, or perhaps even a zipper, or maybe a soft foam lip with snap-button latches.


sanman, Mar 29 2013

See: Inflatable Cooler https://www.youtube...watch?v=eJh_82E2B-k
Inflatable coolers use ice instead of electricity, but similar concept [sanman, Mar 29 2013]

See: Inflatable Hot Tub https://www.youtube...watch?v=K3SXiTNFWSk
Inflatable hot tubs heat instead of cool, but similar concept [sanman, Mar 29 2013]

fridge_20belly Extra storage modification for any fridge. [xenzag, Mar 29 2013]

Anti-Ice Coating https://www.youtube...watch?v=SMGWk-AmhaE
Superhydrophobic coating could prevent ice buildup [sanman, Mar 29 2013]


       I could add a temperature controller to it and use it as an overflow fermentation zone when I'm trying to fill the pipeline...
normzone, Mar 29 2013

       I don't think air is all that great a thermal insulator, though. What you really need is a vacuum. I wonder if there's some way to design it so that the sides are rigid when you pump most of the air /out/, and it collapses at ambient pressure.
ytk, Mar 29 2013

       You could fill it with vacuum at very high pressure. Problem then would be to stop all that extra vacuum leaking out and escaping into space.
pocmloc, Mar 29 2013

       //Kickstarter-worthy?// If this doesn't already exist then, yes definitely.   

       I think your main market, though, might be with restaurants and other companies that may need emergency refrigeration in case of a breakdown, or who do mobile catering. An emergency or portable inflatable freezer (or fridge, for caterers who want to keep 250 starters chilled at an event) sounds ideal for them, as it could be a suitcase- like device that opens to allow the tent to expand.   

       The domestic market is potentially bigger, but probably limited to people who visit markets or go hunting often enough to warrant having a moderately expensive item lying idle for the rest of the time.   

       As for //I don't think air is all that great a thermal insulator//, this may not matter much - a freezer that is only used in emergencies or for a few days doesn't need to be super-efficient. The main problem would be condensation (or ice) forming on the outside. You could greatly improve the insulating properties of the 'tent' by having a honeycomb-like structure between them, with holes in the honeycomb partitions which were big enough to allow full inflation, but small enough to deter convection. Make the whole thing double- thickness (so, two layers of honeycomb) and you'd be doing OK.   

       A quick google finds "inflatable chill stores" (large structures, presumably fed cold air from a separate unit) and "inflatable chill boxes" (which have no inbuilt cooler), but no medium-sized inflatable freezer/fridge.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 29 2013

       " The main problem would be condensation (or ice) forming"   

       Surfaces could be treated with a super-hydrophobic coating, in order to reduce the opportunity for condensation and ice buildup.   


       Superhydrophobicity in action.
sanman, Mar 29 2013

       //http://goo.gl/qaHvO // Use the [link] button beneath your idea to add links that work.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 29 2013

       The competition for this idea is the used freezer. I bought a really huge freezer in 1996 for $50, and it's still in use. It's large enough to hold 3 or 4 sides of beef. The only downside is that it can't be deflated and made smaller when it's not needed.
whlanteigne, Apr 09 2013


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