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Pitch

Chest freezers are much more energy efficient than upright freezers, so why isn't there a top load refrigerator/freezer.


Description

Summary

About 10% of U.S. energy is consumed by domestic refrigerators.  With a bulk of this energy produced via nuclear, gas and coal, an increase in refrigerator efficiency could reduce energy use by a few percents.
  The problem with upright refrigerator/freezers is that the cold air falls out of the appliance every time you open the door.  A chest freezer solves this problem of escaping cold air, but this solution has not been applied to refrigerators.
  This solution would also provide enormous benefit to poor nations, nations who are energy importers, and people who have a small energy budget, i.e. most of the world.

  When I was shopping for an energy efficient refrigerator/freezer, I was hoping there was a chest refrigerator/freezer that was compact and designed for dormitory spaces.
  My thought process didn't consider the option of buying two chest freezers and setting one to refrigerate and the other to freeze.  I don't know if chest freezers can be set to refrigerate, also this solution would ruin the look of my room and waste space.
  The miniature fridge is very noisy when living in close proximity to the product and it's doors are very cold, which suggests the appliance is very poorly insulated.

  One solution is to create a chest refrigerator with drawers that contain the cold air, they easily roll out of the for easy access to the contents of the refrigerator.  These drawers can either be propelled by the opening of the door and/or spring loading and/or pressure loaded.

  Another solution is to have the items in a compact carousel which is easily rotated within the chest refrigerator.

  Shelves can either be bucket shaped to retain the cold air inside of them, or they can be mesh in a chest fridge, so cold air escapes through the bottom when drawers exit the cold.


What actions do you propose?

  Try to get engineers from major US appliance makers to begin selling this kind of product.   To do this, a hype has to be created around this superior product, which would efficiently be a one week media blitz, then a nationwide conference tour with the refrigerator prototype.


Who will take these actions?

  Some of the engineers who are working on the Internet Of Things appliances should be assigned this fridge as a side project. 

  This more efficient refrigerator freezer could be marketed alongside the flagship refrigerator freezers that manufacturers produce.  The estimated energy savings could also be reported in dollar value.

  This efficient refrigerator should travel alongside the manufacturer's high end products to all of the major tradeshows including CES in Las Vegas.


Where will these actions be taken?

There are several conferences where this product would fit in:
CES in Las Vegas
Internet Of Things conferences
Green Energy conferences


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

  An upright refrigerator replaced with a chest refrigerator will use 1/2 as much energy as an upright freezer (fatheadelecrtric.com), so that's a savings of 200 kWh per year.
 There are 117 million households (wikipedia) in the U.S., so the savings would be 23.4 billion kWh per year.


What are other key benefits?


What are the proposal’s costs?

The total cost would be $100,000.

Several prototype refrigerators must be built, along with a few showroom quality fridges: $30,000.

For favorable media coverage at all of the conferences, booth space must be purchased, ad space must be purchased in magazines and local newspapers.  10 conferences x $6000 = $60,000.

Airfare, staff, room and board, plus shipping. 10 conferences x $1000 = $10,000.

Taking pre-orders of the prototype refrigerator will hopefully recoup some of the losses on the media blitz.


Time line

  Total time: 7 months

   3 months in prototype and creating the marketing materials.
   3 months creating a showroom quality product and finalizing marketing.
   1 month touring the product.


Related proposals


References

http://www.flatheadelectric.com/energy/PDF/appliancewattage.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_households