Refrigerator Efficiency (?)

The EnergyStar promoters state:
Improved RefrigeratorsSome of todays ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators use less electricity than a 60-watt incandescent light bulb run continuously.
Does anybody here know what amazing breakthru(s) in refrigeration and/or insulation technology have made this possible?
--
croy

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On 4/1/2012 5:43 PM, croy wrote:

I'm not sure why they have gotten more efficient but one thing I've noticed about value/cheap priced fridges is the magnetic seals fail after a couple years or sooner and sometimes they stay compressed when they should sooner.
They are using cheaper door seals in cheaper fridges and that'll cost you in the long run.
If anyone knows how to re-secure a seal back to a fridge door let me know. Silicone maybe? Without it compressing the seal to much.
I was also told that Side by Side freezer Fridges are energy hogs.
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On Sun, 01 Apr 2012 18:12:17 -0400, Duesenberg wrote:

On our ancient one there are metal strips which are held by screws every 5" or so, and which clamp the seal to the door. Are they just glued on on modern fridges, then?
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On 4/2/2012 1:32 PM, Jules Richardson wrote:

Sorry for the confusion.
I meant that the seals itself splits in half. There are usually two or maybe three accordion type folds in the seal, and I notice cheap fridges on display at big box stores and other discount places, tears form on the seal itself usually the compression fold closeest to the door.
My 2004 Inglis fridge did this as well and at the mitre seams in the corner.
There still are metal strips that hold the seal in place but once the seal tears in half, it's no longer secured to the door in that spot.
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They use more, better insulation. Compressors are more efficient. Maybe, no door heaters.
I just stated my 1990's fridge uses 200 watts running, 1500 watts defrost for 45 minutes. Perhaps defrost is more efficient on newer. Mine, a large upper lower unit.
I noticed my older fridge freezer door is noticeably cooler on the outside. That one runs on 250 watts. I'm getting a 24 hour kwh tonight.
Greg
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Well, size certainly matters. How big is that 60 watt model?
Tomsic
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Probably moderate. No ice maker, no cold water tap. I get some info here...
http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/refrigerators.html
Greg
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wrote:

A 60 W bulb run continuously uses about 1.5 Kwhr of energy a day (60X24/1000).
I have two 14 Cubic Foot refrigerators, one made in 1969 and the other bought in the last few years. Both of them use far less energy than "a 60W bulb burning continuously".
The old refrigerator uses between 0.6 to 1 KWhr/day, whereas the new guy uses 0.4 to 0.9 KWhr/day. I've measured them daily with an energy meter for some years now. If the room is colder the new guy uses quite a bit less energy than the old guy.
I think the fan defrost function on the new refrigerator is more effective than the old guy heating up the cooling pad to melt the ice.
All the refigerator and freezer door sticker energy consumption figures are measured at 32C ambient which is way hotter than most peoples houses are on average. So most people will use quite a bit less energy than the door sticker says.
Ross
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RMD wrote:

I have to conclude that your measurements are just plain wrong, by at least a factor of 10.
Many local electricity providers have had programs offering free disposal, and even a small cash credit, for people to hand over refrigerators to them, with the idea being to take out of circulation any old, second refrigerators that people have in their basements or garages (ie - the "beer fridge").
They wouldn't go to such trouble to start programs like that if fridges used just a pittance of electricity as you suggest.
I suggest you look at the info posted here:
http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/refrigerators.html
That page has an on-line cost calculator where you can enter the age and size of your current and new fridge, your kwh energy cost, salvage value of old fridge, and any rebate you might get for getting rid of your old fridge. It then calculates your savings-per-year and payback time.
================ In most homes the refrigerator is the second-largest user of electricity (13.7%), right after the air conditioner (16%). (Dept. of Energy) With most appliances you save energy by using them less, but you can't very well do that with your fridge. The main way to save money with your fridge is to use an efficient model. New fridges aren't just a little more efficient, they're incredibly more efficient. A 1986-era 18 c.f. fridge uses 1400 kWh a year, while a modern energy-efficient model uses only 350 kWh -- a whopping 75% reduction. At 15 kWh, trading in a pre-1986 fridge for a new efficient one would save about $158 a year in electricity costs. And some older fridges are even worse than the average. One reader estimates her savings to be $238 per year for trading in her 1979 fridge for a 2004 model.
One big caveat: All the figures on this page are with any ice maker turned OFF. When the icemaker is on then usage could be as much as double. (Consumer Reports) If you trade in an old fridge without an icemaker for an icemaker-equipped fridge, and you run the icemaker, you might not see any savings.
Should you replace your current fridge?
If your fridge was made before 2001, then yes, you should almost certainly trade it in. Older fridges are wildly ineffecient. The best modern models use less than half of what 1993-2000 fridges used. For older fridges it's even more striking: Replacing a 1992 fridge with a modern Energy Star model could save $1400 in electricity costs over the useful life of the fridge. So if you've got an old fridge, yes, trade it in. You might even be able to get a state rebate for buying an energy-efficient fridge. Your city or utility might have a rebate program, too. (Check with them.)
If your fridge was made 2001 or later, it's a tougher call. As you can see from the table, trading in a 2001+ model for a new Energy Star model might save around $20/yr. in energy costs, or $280 over its useful life. That's certainly not as much as it would cost you to buy a new fridge. On the other hand, you're going to have to replace your fridge sooner or later anyway, since the average useful life is only around 14 years. So the question isn't really, "Should I replace my fridge?", but rather, "Should I replace it early (before it needs replacing)?" To answer that question, use the calculator above, not the table, because the calculator will let you choose your fridge size and local electricity rate, which is all-important.
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My older fridge is using 3 kw per day. $10.80 a month here.
Greg
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gregz used improper usenet message composition style by unnecessarily full-quoting:

I assume you mean 3 kw-hours per day. Which is about 1000 kwh per year.
I would hazzard a guess and say that in most of US/Canada, the going rate (all-in) for electricity can be pegged at 15 cents per kwh.
Your 3 kwh per day, multiplied by 30.4 days (average number of days in a month) works out to about $4.56. So right there one of your numbers (3 kwh or $10.80) is out-of-whack.
The website I mentioned in my previous post states that a modern (new) fridge these days uses 350 kwh per year (about 1 kwh per day!). A fridge from the 1986-era uses 1400 kwh per year. So how old is your "old" fridge?
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I don't follow your math. Cost me about 12 cents per KWH. I have not found a date yet. Guessing 70's. Interesting .59 PF on old, and near 1 on newer fridge.
Greg
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Hi All,
Since when I was a little boy refrigerators have had about 1/3HP electric motors, which run intermittently, except if you just loaded the refrigerator with 50 bottles of warm drink.
1HPv2Watts and 1/3HP = 250W roughly
Therefore the most a refrigerator will use is about 240W or four 60W light bulbs, and then only with a full load of hot contents when it will run all the time for a day or so.
It is just rubbish to claim older refigerators use the ridiculous amounts of energy "Home Guy" claims.
Anyway, don't believe me, go and measure it for yourself.
1. Buy a 60 W bulb.
2. Buy an energy meter ("Kill-A-Watt" or similar.)
3. Measure the 60 w bulb for 24 hours. This will calibrate your energy meter. (Though all the ones I have checked have read correctly.)
4.Now measure your refrigerator.
Btw I repeat that the door sticker energy figures on new refrigerators are with a 32C (~90F) ambient temperature.
I guess you know how often your house is at 32C (90F) inside - actually in my house that is a never - so in real life your refrigerator or freezer will use way less energy than the door sticker says. This means way less savings on electricity than calculated on inflated door sticker consumption figures.
Go ahead and buy a new refrigerator if you want one - it is your money to spend as you wish - but if you believe the greenie rubbish "Home Guy" is sprouting then I've got a bridge or two you would love to buy too!
The efficiency of new refrigerators is higher than older refrigerators, but it isn't actually isn't a lot (maybe 10% or so) and it will take maybe 100 years to pay off the price of a new refrigerator in electricity savings.
Which is as my energy consumption figures I gave on my two refrigerators (repeated below) indicate.
Btw I know how to measure electrical things perfectly well, as you would expect from a professional Electrical Engineer.
And I'm not trying to sell you a refrigerator you don't need either, so I have no ulterior motive.
My advice? Change your refrigerator when it stops working, unless you really want a new refrigerator for other reasons.
Ross
Previous Post Repeated:
A 60 W bulb run continuously uses about 1.5 Kwhr of energy a day (60X24/1000).
I have two 14 Cubic Foot refrigerators, one made in 1969 and the other bought in the last few years. Both of them use far less energy than "a 60W bulb burning continuously".
The old refrigerator uses between 0.6 to 1 KWhr/day, whereas the new guy uses 0.4 to 0.9 KWhr/day. I've measured them daily with an energy meter for some years now. If the room is colder the new guy uses quite a bit less energy than the old guy.
I think the fan defrost function on the new refrigerator is more effective than the old guy heating up the cooling pad to melt the ice.
All the refigerator and freezer door sticker energy consumption figures are measured at 32C ambient which is way hotter than most peoples houses are on average. So most people will use quite a bit less energy than the door sticker says.
Ross
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RMD wrote:

Fractional-hp electric motors are notoriously inefficient at converting electricity into work, dumb ass. The smaller the hp rating, the more inefficient the motor is.

There are many posts on the web where people state that consumer-grade power meters (like the kill-a-watt) have poor accuracy when measuring inductive loads (basically, anything with an electric motor). This is either due to the fact that they have slow sampling rates (they don't sample the current and/or voltage fast enough) or they don't calculate true RMS power consumption for inductive loads.
So stop using examples like light bulbs, which are true resistive loads and are a no-brainer for these meters to measure correctly.
Stop being an idiot and google any phrase you want that includes "refrigerator" and "efficiency". You won't find a single result where someone will claim that old refrigerators make efficient use of electricity.
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" snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net" wrote:

It is said that internal ice-makers in fridges (even new fridges) use large amounts of energy, and that replacing an old fridge (without an ice maker) with a new fridge (with an ice maker) may not result in "huge" savings.
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I don't know who says that or on what basis, but I don't believe it. An ice-maker only involves a tiny motor to push the ice out and a small heater to warm the bottom of the tray so that the ice will slide out. Neither could use much energy and both are only involved when it's actually making ice.
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Hi All,
Just to help you along, just imagine the room temperature is 5C (about 40F).
Now we have a cardboard box, a really old refrigerator, and a brand new spanking modern efficient refigerator.
What energy do they all consume?
Answer: None, Nothing, Zero.
Why? Because the room is so cold the thermostat will never turn on the compressor in either of the refrigerators, old or new.
So in this instance a really cheap cardboard box performs as well as any refrigerator.
The cardboard box is not so good at 32C (90F) though. :)
Buy a cardboard box. Be really green! :) Cheap too.
Ross
On Tue, 03 Apr 2012 05:03:10 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.invalid (RMD) wrote:

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Hi All,
For some salesman it must be like clubbing baby seals when they are selling a new refrigerator which the customer doesn't really need to customers who _really_ want to buy for all the wrong reasons.
The sticker on my refigerator says that actual energy consumption will vary from that shown. The energy consumption shown on the sticker is only for the purposes of comparison with other refrigerators on the showroom floor.
Since the energy consumption on the sticker is measured at 90F (32C) then to get the same figures in your house you would have to set your house thermostat to 90F (32C). (!)
See the problem?
Allegedly save energy with the new refrigerator, but spending a lot more heating the house to 90F (32C).
I think 90F is way to hot for comfort myself. :)
On the other hand measuring the energy consumption at 40F wouldn't be a lot of use either, since it would be zero, and sort of useless for the purposes of comparison.
One thing is for sure, the baby seals will still be out there buying the refrigerator they don't need to "save energy" they won't actually save.
How I wish I could think up a scam that would have the lemmings rushing to pay me lots of money for no reason.
No wonder the Nigerian scammers keep making lotsa money!
Ross
On Wed, 04 Apr 2012 06:09:12 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.invalid (RMD) wrote:

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On Apr 6, 4:04am, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.invalid (RMD) wrote:

Yes. The above makes no sense. If you were trying to mislead customers, why would you measure the refrigerators at 90F ambient? That is going to make the yearly energy use high and would not encourage me to buy one.
Does it say that they are measured at 90F on the sticker? Next time I'm at HD I'm going to check.

The other problem is that as I posted previously, I replaced my 27 year old fridge, which was still working fine, with a new one. I measured the energy consumption using a killawatt meter on the old one for several days before replacing it. I then measured the new one for several days after allowing it to stabilize. The old one was using $180 a year in energy, the new one $95.
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