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IceVolt 300 fridge only needs six hours of power a day

IceVolt 300 fridge only needs ...
The IceVolt 300 fridge is designed to lessen the reliance on the power grid to keep items cold
The IceVolt 300 fridge is designed to lessen the reliance on the power grid to keep items cold
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The IceVolt 300 fridge is designed to lessen the reliance on the power grid to keep items cold
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The IceVolt 300 fridge is designed to lessen the reliance on the power grid to keep items cold

Keeping food and drinks chilled is straightforward enough when you have a continuous power supply, but not everyone has that luxury. Relying on an ice-based approach to keep things cool around the clock with just six hours of plug-in time, Coolfinity’s IceVolt 300 is a fridge designed for shop owners in tropical areas whose goods often go to waste due to power outages.

According to Coolfinity, more than 70 countries around the world endure regular power outages, and many of them are in tropical or subtropical zones. When business owners in these areas can't keep their goods properly cooled, it often leads to spoilage and vast amounts of wastage.

The IceVolt 300 fridge is designed to lessen their reliance on the grid by freezing water and using it as a thermal sink, gently releasing cold energy as needed to keep the container at the desired temperature when the power supply is cut.

While this concept isn't new, Coolfinity says it is the first to apply the technique to large commercial coolers. It has designed the IceVolt 300 fridge in such a way that it is able to simply freeze water when power is available. It says that with six hours of power each day, the Coolfinity fridge can run 24/7. And if the power is cut, the ice melts slowly enough to hold the temperature of refrigerator to below 6° C (42° F) for up to 48 hours.

"This way we have indeed decoupled cooling ability from energy availability by offering a fridge that keeps products cold and is also able to cool down warm products even when there is no power," the company says.

Coolfinity is launching the IceVolt 300 fridge internationally at CES in Las Vegas this week, where it has also picked up an innovation award for its efforts.

Source: Coolfinity

Update (Jan. 10, 2020): This article originally stated that the IceVolt 300 made use of a eutectic solution, which is a mixture that has a lower melting point than those of its constituent parts. We've confirmed with the company that it only uses water and have changed the text accordingly. Our apologies for the error and thanks to the readers who brought it to our attention.

8 comments
ChairmanLMAO
in more stable electricity environments this would be able to capitalize on the 6 hours - in the mid to late afternoon and run powerless overnight!! w00t! i want one!!
BlueOak
@Chairman, wondered something similar - could it make sense in off grid solar use? But going to guess the price premium as well as extra energy required to refreeze the water-based heat sink would be far greater than spending the money on more flexible battery capacity and running a reasonably priced standard energy efficient fridge.
McDesign
Well, what it means is that 24 hours-worth of electricity is consumed in six hours - it doesn't "save power" - storage inefficiencies may even cost some.
Worzel
This is much the same principle as 'ice packs' used in cool-boxes. Although the initial start, to cool the whole assembly would be more expensive, once cold, then just the maintaining the heat loss would be required. Given adequate insulation, this would be good, business as usual, regardless of the power supply. However, I wonder how this would compare with the cost of just having a standby generator available for power outs, in the long term, given how cheaply they can now be bought. Certainly, if the power out was for more than 24 hours or so, a generator would be more effective.
jocco
Why not add a ice cube maker and bin in the top?
ljaques
+1, McDesign. I don't think my fridge runs a full 6 hours a day now, and when it does, it's 134W max for 10 minutes at a time. I don't grok the gimmick they're trying to sell, other than appealing to climate alarmists.
Nobody
During power outages I manage to keep my refrigerator and chest freezer cold enough with only two hours of power a day from my portable generator. There are a couple techniques that must be followed. On an upright the door can only be opened briefly a few times as most of the cold air falls out when opened. This is minimized by the chest type of freezer or cooler but once again opening the door should be kept to a minimum. The fuller they are kept, the better, which is pretty much what an ice pack does. But the number one secret to using less power is to use an indoor/outdoor thermometer to continuously monitor the inside temperature. This cues me as to when to start the generator and how long to run it. Having six hours of power a day at the wrong time is not as efficient as a total of two hours a day at the right times.
steven
Hi guys, Steven from Coolfinity here. So the key purpose of our fridges is to provide reliable cooling in areas that suffer from unreliable electric power supply (so mostly developing countries). We can make this happen by integrating ice storage inside the fridge. Now responding to your comments: @BlueOak, it's true that just a battery capacity is more flexible, however the most energy efficient way to store cold (thermal) energy is with water. Also this results in using a "clean battery" of just water, instead of using a battery with scarce metals. @McDesign, our fridge's technology resulted in a quite energy efficient solution as well. While there are indeed storage inefficiencies, the fact that we can run the fridge's compressor in one go actually results in an energy efficient solution as well (compared to most commercial B2B fridges of the same size). However, I must admit that a fridge purely optimised for energy efficiency would probably not use our technology. @Worzel, exactly! We also often use the example of the ice packs, as this is basically what we have integrated, but then on a much larger scale and more high tech. While using regular ice packs, the temperature inside a cool box is very cold at first and at a certain moment way too warm. It doesn't provide strict temperature control... However, because we separate the "ice pack" compartment from the compartment with the products (food, drinks or medication) and use active air cooling, we can always provide the exact desired cooling temperature for those products. Regular ice packs cannot beat that ;) @ljaques, please read the article. I'm disappointed that you think this is a gimmick. Let me explain. Every year 150 million vaccines are lost due to bad cooling. Electric power outages are the main reason for this. If reliable cooling would have been available, the potency of these medical supplies wouldn't be lost and many many human lives wouldn't be lost. So reliable cooling improves and saves people's lives and that is the reason our company exists. An actual gimmick would be the alarm clock with integrated coffee machine, also presented at CES last week ;) @Nobody, during power outages our fridge can still be used and many (dozens) of door openings are no problem, as it is specifically tested for that (because our solution regards a commercial B2B solution). @Worzel & Nobody, we do not prefer to stimulate the use of generators due to their noise, smell and CO2 emissions. Also for our markets generator backup power is not always preferred because of those reasons. Lastly our sales so far prove that we can be competitive with generators ;)