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In Order To Protect The Environment, The Refrigerator Has A Variety Of Innovations
- May 04, 2018 -


Fridges are very common in our kitchen. But with the impact of the traditional refrigeration system on the environment, this has also raised concerns among some people. Fortunately, the world is taking various ways to refrigerate food without disrupting the earth's ozone layer. Some people are digging deep into the future solutions, while others are hoping for high-tech inventions, such as solar energy, magnetic cooling technology and even heat transfer.

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Store food underground before refrigerators appear. People in cold areas use cellars or underground storeroom to store food. Cancork Floor Inc., Canada, recalled: "in the northern part of Canada, people have set up frozen storage rooms, some of which are similar to the size of the refrigerator, and some are even as large as a small house.  Sadly, because of climate change, many families have lost them, and the permafrost is sinking, making it even more difficult to store meat in the summer. But even if global warming is a major problem, people are looking for new solutions for underground food storage.


An event in Holland


Anyone who wants to dig underground food storage facilities in Holland is facing challenges. They need construction permits, and in this low-lying country, they have to deal with possible floods and groundwater that is usually about 3 meters deep. But Weltevree's Floris director and designer Schoonderbeek invented Groundfridge, which can solve all these problems.

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Five years ago, Schoonderbeek noticed that householders and chefs were changing their lifestyles, mainly by planting their own fruits and vegetables. He realized that many people would benefit from storing products in a specific storeroom. After Schoonderbeek and different partners including Wageningen University, Groundfridge was born. This type of cellar does not require any building permit, only a thorough understanding of the location of its installation, because its polyester film makes it waterproof, easy to carry and move to where it needs to be installed.


Groundfridge has the same food storage as the 20 traditional refrigerators, and the annual temperature stays between 7 degrees C and 12 degrees C. Schoonderbeek built two models: one is the solar panel door, which generates a small amount of electricity to offset the summer temperature and cool Groundfridge. The other is connected to the natural supply of underground water (always at 10 degrees C) to continuously cool the food.


Family underground food storage space designed in Sweden


When construction engineers and husband and wife team Linda Hurtigh and Daniele Balzanetti decided to build their own house in Le stersund in northern Sweden, they set out to create a perfect home for their families. They pay extra attention to the planting and storage of food.


Linda said, "we brought a lot of food back from the home of Italy in Daniele, plus we have a 49 square meter greenhouse being built and a garden, so we need a lot of storage space."

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The underground food storage space was planned from the very beginning and included in the architectural drawings. The house is half underground, and the kitchen is on the lower floor, so it enters the pantry directly from the kitchen door. "Our only fridge is a small fridge in the kitchen for storing milk and cheese."

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The food shop is divided into two parts: an anteroom with a temperature of about 12 C and a colder 8-10 C inner chamber. "We put the freezer in the lobby, because it is in such a cold environment, so it has less energy consumption," Linda said. "Builders say they may consume 211 kwh of electricity a year, but we finally find that they only use about 150 kwh a year!"

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Linda pointed out: "inner chamber" is very suitable for storing onions, potatoes, ham, and preserves and jam we made in the autumn harvest season.


A new invention in the kitchen


Fast freezer usually uses wider temperature range and high accuracy. Massimo Caudullo, managing director of Italy Coldline, explains what is a fast freezing cabinet. "This is not a refrigerator. This special equipment is frozen at a very fast rate of cooked food or fresh food, and the traditional food frozen food takes up to 12 hours, and the freezer runs faster. It takes less than half an hour! Because the temperature inside the appliance can be reduced to 40 degrees C below zero, it can be cooled to 18 degrees C below zero. It can also cool fresh food within 4 minutes of C at a few minutes. The frozen food can then be stored in an ordinary refrigerator, but it can get 70% of the additional shelf life and maintain high quality.


The use of R290 refrigerant in a fast freezer is a refrigerant grade propane with little environmental impact. It has zero ODP (ozone depleting potential) and 3.8 global warming potential (GWP) - the average GWP of an ordinary refrigerator is about 10.


Over the years, the technology has been used by professionals, such as restaurants and hotels, but is now available for family use. "It fundamentally changed the food experience," said Robert Eckstein, a senior consultant at PCV group in Holland. "Quick freezing cabinet can avoid the loss of food brittleness, because it can keep the structure in the freezing process."


The same old refrigerator, but in a new way of freezing

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Chills in refrigerators are usually produced by compression systems, using refrigerants that change from liquid to gaseous. It absorbs heat from food and reduces the temperature of airtight appliances. But now the new alternatives are breaking. FrigoMobile is a trolley with refrigerating units, solar lights and solar cell phone chargers. It is very suitable for cold drink sellers, isolated houses and nomadic people's way of life.


Solar energy refrigeration


For anyone who wants to have green life, solar fridge is now a reality. Freecold manufactures refrigerators and freezers using solar energy. Lionel Bataille, the company's innovation and future division manager, explained: "thanks to solar panels, the device uses solar energy to supply the compressor directly to the compressor without a battery or voltage regulator. As long as the sun appears, even if it lasts for a few minutes, the system will be able to refrigerate and make it completely independent within three days.

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Magnetic cooling technology


This technology originated from the magnetocaloric effect discovered by German physicist Emil Warburg in 1881. Magnetic cooling technology uses magnetization and demagnetization cycles of specific alloys. For simplicity, these alloys are repeatedly magnets: they become warm and cool down. The heat is removed by ventilation, and then the cooling purpose is achieved.

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Cooltech Applications, a French company based in Alsace, has been developing the technology since 2003 and won the prize for its sustainable innovation. Vincent Delecourt, the business and marketing manager, illustrates its benefits: "the magnetic cooling technology is completely environmentally friendly, without refrigerants, a reliable substitute for refrigerants used today. The magnetic cooling technology is more energy efficient, which can reduce the power consumption of a refrigerator by half.


Use heat to create cooling


Considering that electricity is a rare source of energy, we have to save electricity for what we really need, and the French start-up Coldinnov raises the question: why don't we collect the waste heat generated by car silencers or industrial furnaces in order to cool down? From this basic premise, Coldinnov is developing a new process to generate cooling capacity using waste heat without electricity.

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