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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
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.
See: Inflatable Cooler
Inflatable coolers use ice instead of electricity, but similar concept [sanman, Mar 29 2013]
See: Inflatable Hot Tub
Inflatable hot tubs heat instead of cool, but similar concept [sanman, Mar 29 2013]
Extra storage modification for any fridge. [xenzag, Mar 29 2013]
Superhydrophobic coating could prevent ice buildup [sanman, Mar 29 2013]
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||I could add a temperature controller to it and use it as an overflow fermentation zone when I'm trying to fill the pipeline...
||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.
||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.
||//Kickstarter-worthy?// If this doesn't already
||I think your main market, though, might be with
restaurants and other companies that may need
refrigeration in case of a breakdown, or who do
catering. An emergency or portable inflatable
fridge, for caterers who want to keep 250 starters
an event) sounds ideal for them, as it could be a
like device that opens to allow the tent to
||The domestic market is potentially bigger, but
limited to people who visit markets or go hunting
enough to warrant having a moderately expensive
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
||" 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.
Use the [link] button beneath your idea to add links
||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.