E-Cube Reduces Display-Case Refrigerator Electricity Use
Via The Guardian, which reports that E-cube:- "...is made of wax, is barely three inches across and comes in any colour you like, as long as it's black. And it could save more greenhouse gas emissions than taxes on gas guzzling cars, low energy light bulbs and wind turbines on houses combined. It is the e-cube, and it is coming soon to a fridge near you". The Guardian article, obviously written by non-engineer, conjures up the image of a blob of wax one molds around the refrigerator temp dial. As pictured, E-Cube is actually a plastic box filled with wax that has a heat transfer characteristic similar to food. Inside the cube (pictured), suspended in the wax presumably, is a thermistor that supplants the internal air temperature sensing device that refrigerators use to control on/off cycling. From the E-Cube site is this explanation. "Refrigeration units usually monitor circulating air temperature in order to decide when to switch on and off. However, circulating air temperature tends to rise quickly, far more quickly than food temperature and, as a result, refrigeration works harder than necessary to maintain stored products at the right temperature. This in turn leads to excessive electricity consumption and undue wear and tear on the equipment". Headed for retail store prime time, as Starbucks is reportedly testing the device, we're just surprised that Wal-Mart didn't give it a go yet. Not strongly recommended for home refrigerators, as the benefits are lost with infrequent opening.