Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Smart' Fridges Stay Cool By Talking To Each Other

Date:
January 22, 2009
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
'Smart' fridges that run on renewable electricity and are capable of negotiating the most energy efficient way to keep food cold have been developed by researchers in Australia.

CSIRO's Sam West demonstrating the workings of the interactive management screen on one of the demonstration 'smart fridges.'
Credit: Photo by CSIRO

Smart’ fridges that run on renewable electricity and are capable of negotiating the most energy efficient way to keep food cold have been developed by researchers from CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship.

Related Articles


CSIRO’s Intelligent Energy team have developed a fridge capable of maintaining its average temperature while regulating its power consumption from renewable-energy generators, such as solar panels (photovoltaics) or wind turbines.

CSIRO Engineer, Sam West, says the smart fridges work as a network of distributed fridges, each fitted with control technology that allows them to communicate with each other via a network to share and store the energy provided by renewable-power generators.

“The fridges are designed to talk to each other, negotiating when it’s a good time to consume electricity and when it’s better not to,” Mr West says. “These scheduling decisions improve the quality of electricity produced by renewables and can help increase renewable uptake in the energy market.”

During the day, for example, supplies of electricity generated from photovoltaics can be interrupted by cloud cover resulting in periods of variable power supply.

“These fluctuations are bad for the electricity grid,” Mr West says. “Rapid variations in electricity flow can destabilise the grid and result in blackouts and other unwanted side-effects, but your fridge can help smooth out these fluctuations if it turns on and off at the right time.

“The fridges work together to decide when to cool down, and thus consume power, based on how much surplus power will be available. They are able to anticipate power shortages and change their running schedules accordingly to use as little power as possible during these times. In short, the fridges are working cooperatively to use the available power supply efficiently.”

The fridges can also be used to store energy.

“The surplus electricity produced by solar panels can be used to lower the fridge temperature a few degrees more than necessary to create a thermal energy store which will keep the fridge’s contents cold during the night,” Mr West says. “Another benefit is that by reducing the amount of electricity required during peak-demand periods, we can avoid the need to build more network infrastructure such as new power stations.

“Using less electricity is always preferable to generating more and is the simplest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Refrigeration can be very energy intensive but by harnessing renewable power this technology offers a low-emission solution to keeping food and other perishables cold.”

CSIRO is currently seeking commercial partners to further develop the technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "'Smart' Fridges Stay Cool By Talking To Each Other." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090121093351.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2009, January 22). 'Smart' Fridges Stay Cool By Talking To Each Other. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090121093351.htm
CSIRO Australia. "'Smart' Fridges Stay Cool By Talking To Each Other." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090121093351.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins