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Water Cooled Fridge

Cold water circulates through fridge to chill contents.
  [vote for,

I think we've all been in the situation where there wasn't enough room in the fridge for our "beverages" so we filled the sink up with cold water and submerged them.

How about a fridge that is connected to the home's water main. The main pipe connects inside the fridge to a series of pipes or bladders or something that is strong enough to take the water pressure but made of poor insulating material so it radiates coldness from the water. These pipes (or water mats?) could line the shelving and walls in the fridge so as to maximize contact with the contents. The end of this piping would then connect to the a main pipe outside the fridge which would then continue on to the sinks, bathtubs, etc.

The reason for connecting to the water main is so the water in the fridge will automatically get replaced with fresh cold water everytime someone flushes a toilet, washes their hands, etc. This way the water in the fridge will not get a chance to get too warm.

I'm not too sure how cold a refrigerator is supposed be or how cold everyone's water source is. I get my water from the mountains so it always seems cold enough to use as a coolant.

vector, Nov 20 2005


       This is how countertop bottle chillers work.
DrCurry, Nov 20 2005

       Radiates coldness? [mfd...deleted] Bad science.

I deleted the MFD because, even though vector does not understand any thermodynamics, this idea isn't dependent on ‘radiating coldness,’ only on having cold water delivered from a melting glacier.
ldischler, Nov 20 2005

       Bad terminology maybe.   

       OK, maybe bad science in that the water would be a lot warmer than the evaporator in a normal fridge. We're talking 0 to 30 degrees C for water versus negative 20 degrees C for refrigerant.   

       If you have a supply of really could water on hand for direct contact cooling (like beverage cans submerged in the icy liquid) then go for it, but it wouldn't really work in a refrigerator-type application.
Texticle, Nov 20 2005

       How about a heat pump - use the heat taken from the items being cooled to pre-warm the water feeding into your boiler/ hot water tank, instead of just dumping it into the air in the kitchen.
prufrax, Nov 20 2005

       I'm seeing this as a fairly useful secondary refrigerator. It won't get as cold as your main refrigerator, but may work well for items like root vegetables that don't need to be as cold.   

       [prufrax] We've tried that idea here. The only issue with it is when hot water demand is low and refrigerator use is high - you end up with no flow past a hot condenser. However, this could be solved with a secondary radiator for use during these times.
Worldgineer, Nov 20 2005

       The cold water out here is about 5 degrees Celsius. Granted it would take a lot longer to cool a fridge than with -20 refigerant. But the ambient temp would eventually get down to 5 deg if the old water kept getting replaced with fresh cold water every hour or two (everytime someone, flushed, washed). Maybe it would take days to cool down all the way, though?
vector, Nov 20 2005

       I really wouldn't design this as a primary refrigerator. What happens when you go on vacation on a warm weekend? Warm milk will greet you on your return.
Worldgineer, Nov 20 2005


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