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Smart Fridge

Energy saving fridge to reduce overall electricity demand
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The demand for electricity varies throughout the day reaching a maximum in the early evening. Electricity power stations cannot vary their power output by very much, so they have to generate power to cover the maximum in demand. This means the rest of the time they are simply generating too much and the energy is wasted. Fridges and freezers are quite energy hungry devices. If they could be switched off during periods of maximum demand, then the power stations need not produce so much electricity. Naturally, the fridges might warm up too much if they were switched off remotely. Hence, the fridges would be swiched on remotely (or by a timer) so that all fridges are at their coldest immediately prior to the maximum in demand. Then the fridges would all be off during the maximum demand period. This would reduce the overall demand for electricity during the period of maximum demand and hence fewer power stations would be needed. Obviously there would have to be an override system so that if a fridge ever became too warm (e.g. by the door being left open too long), it would have to switch itself on again.
slim, Oct 30 2003

US EPA EnergyStar Refrigerators http://www.energyst...ig.pr_refrigerators
[krelnik, Oct 04 2004]

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       You're onto something here, because residential refrigerators use some ridiculous percentage of the electricity going into homes. The US Environmental Protection Agency added an "EnergyStar" program for refrigerators a few years back, see link for details.   

       Commercial users of electricity (like factories and so on) in the US are often charged rates based on their peak usage. I've seen quite elaborate systems installed that monitor this to minimize rates, and dynamically turn air conditioners and other heavy equipment on and off to minimize the peaks.
krelnik, Oct 30 2003

       You could, theoretically, chill a freezer down during the wee small hours when electricty is cheap, then let it ease off during the day and early evening peaks. But if you tried that with the fridge, you'd be trying to drink frozen milk.
DrCurry, Oct 30 2003

       I've considered posting an idea for a refrigerator that won't run while the door's open (or won't run for a short while after the door's been opened). What's the point of running when you're just dumping the air out?   

       I have to say I don't like the idea of someone else controlling when my refrigerator runs.
phoenix, Oct 30 2003

       My parents live in the state of Delaware and already have this. The local power company put a control box on their basement freezer(big power hungry thing... think half a cow) and on their air conditioner in exchange for a small rate reduction. In the summer time during a heat wave when the electrical grid is threatened with an overload the electic company will remotely turn off devices for 15 to 20 minutes at a time on a rotating basis. This works out really well as no one will even notice if the basement freezer is off for 20 minutes. By rotating who's freezer and AC is off and keeping the off time short no one is really inconvienced and they avoid brownouts and blackouts. All in all a pretty slick solution. It certainly beats having blackouts like they did in California last year.
renny, Oct 30 2003

       hey renny, I have two of those deep-freeze freezers and then 3 normal freezers.
dickity, Oct 30 2003


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