These old clunkers are unexploded global warming bomblets -by edcrowle @ flickr.
When Einstein and his protege Leo Szilard decided to invent a refrigerator, they wanted something sturdy - the fridges of their 1920s could explode if seals failed. So their model was designed with no moving parts, and used pressurized gases and a small, gas-driven pump. The Einstein fridge failed to gain widespread acceptance (it wasn't too efficient) and freon-driven fridges soon took the lead.
Solar fridge lauded by Greenpeace
But now a researcher at Oxford University in the UK wants to adapt the Einstein-Slazpir design to use solar power. Malcolm McCulloch's update on the older model intends to improve efficiency by using different gases (though not freon) and employing solar energy to drive the pump. McCulloch says he's only in the pilot stage. He isn't the only one trying to make smarter refrigerators - we've written on some absorption models - which Greenpeace says are desperately needed as less developed nations buy the trappings of a western (not too energy-efficient) lifestyle. (Einstein fridge drawing and the Camfridge competition after the jump).Camfridge uses magnets and a smart alloy for cooling
At TreeHugger we're all for smarter appliances, and Camfridge is a smart use of the magnetocaloric effect (say that fast a few times). When the alloy - manganese, cobalt, silicon and germanium - enters a magnetic field, it chills down. A much better way to keep the ice cream cold than freon. Camfridge is finally getting near mass production, though it's slated to appear in the U.K. first. Via ::Guardian
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