Energy saving idea for a refrigerator


I had a idea that might save some energy. I've had ideas like this in the past, but they're usually not practical - like heating my backyard pool water with the condenser coil from my central air. The pool gets heated, while the AC, presumably, cools the house more efficiently.
I recently thought of running the compressor and coil from my refrigerator and freezer outside. This wouldn't be such a huge effort - a few feet of copper tubing and suitable insulation is all that would be needed. This way, AC wouldn't have to pump the heat out of the house after the fridge pumped it out of the box (kind of like cutting out the middleman). Theoretically, the AC uses just as much energy removing that heat from the house as the fridge used to remove that same heat from the box. So, theoretically, the savings should be about equal to the amount of energy that the fridge normally uses (of course, these savings would only be realized during the cooling season). The kitchen would be quieter, too.
What's wrong with this idea? How much energy might this be expected to save? And could I heat my pool with it? :)
-TT
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have no idea about any of your questions but I approve and applaud your inventive spirit. Good luck.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think everybody has had that same idea about the refrigerator. A refrigerator just doesn't use all that much energy. Mine is 1.5a (200w) and only runs part of the time. When your AC was on it would certainly save a little energy, but it would cost energy when the heat was on; so you would have to make it covertible. Your payback would be in decades.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

look at: operating temperature high and low limits in the manual of specifications of device. the refrigerator does not work properly outside its limits. look at operating clearance of fridge for airflow. your tools or coolant cost may outweigh savings. search outdoor refrigerator: http://groups.google.com/groups/search?hl=en&q=outdoor+refrigerator&qt_s=Search you might browse for similar ideas at: http://www.motherearthnews.com / you may find ideas with groups search for living off the grid: http://groups.google.com/groups/search?hl=en&q=living+off+the+grid+refrigerator&qt_s=Search+Groups
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

-TT
Both fine ideas.
However: ". . . .This wouldn't be such a huge effort- . . ." is hardly the case. The job requires some significant expense for refrigerant and copper and a need for some fairly skilled labor. I can't see any hope for recovering your costs unless it's totally DIY. Are you good enough at HVAC to do the work?
Jason
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The IGA in Soldier's Grove, WI has a separate room with lots of compressors. They open a door to the outside and close a door to the market building in summertime, vice-versa in wintertime.
But a fridge and freezer seem unlikely to make enough heat for a pool, even if you leave their doors open. Preheating domestic hot water might be interesting.
Nick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Who cares what it costs? It's for the environment.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tom Terrific wrote:

My first job out of college almost 50 years ago was with an indepemdent R&D company. The founders, around the time of WWII, had came up with the idea for a combination refrigerator and domestic hot water heater, where the heat removed from the cooled box was used to raise the water's temperature. They had built a bunch of prototypes. Several of them were sitting around the place, one of them still running. They were natural gas powered like Servel refrigerators, and the trade name they'd chosen for them was "Stator".
They looked like a conventional refrigerator with a section about three feet high added above the door, which contained a well insulated hot water storage tank.
I can't remember any other details about them, like whether they also had air cooled condensing coils which got switched in when the water in the storage tank reached at maximum temperature.
AFAIK, none were ever sold to the public, and in the fat, dumb and happy days following WWII, not to many folks worried about saving energy anyway, so they probably wouldn't have found much of a market.
Another energy saving idea the bosses came up with back then was the concept of using lower cost "off peak" electric power for domestic forced air heating by using resistance heaters to store heat in flat finned containers filled with a kind of salt which had a high heat of fusion and an appropriate melting temperature. The idea was to melt the salt at night when electricity rates were low and and then recover heat when needed by warming air flowed past past the containers.
I seem to recall that they had a couple of dozen systems of that type installed in homes in Pennsylvania as part of a pilot study financed by an association of electric utility companies. AFAIK that system never made it to market either, but it wouldn't suprise me to find that some of the greenies have already brought it back to life.
Thanks for the mammaries,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I did something like this for a kitchen at a commercial facility. Put the compressor and condensor into the cellar. Works fine. The problem happens when you want to replace your refrigerator. And then you need your HVAC guy to unhook it all. Also, you may have problems when it's very cold outside, the compressor lube oil gets sluggish.
I suspect the savings won't be very much, compared to the work needed to do the hookup.
Using the heat from the AC to warm the pool does make sense. A commercial coaxial condensor would help. You'd need a pump to circulate water, but you've already got this for the pool pump.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.