Fridge Uses Zero Energy & Cools Your Food By Suspending It In Gel-Like Substance
By: Jeff Roberts| Collective Evolution
A top 25 finalist in the Electrolux Design Lab competition has imagined a fridge that uses zero energy and cools by suspending food in a bio-polymer, gel-like material.
Refrigerators are the second biggest energy zappers in household appliances today (about 13.7%), next to air conditioners, which use about 14.1% of the total household power expenditure. Since the refrigerator’s urban genesis in the mid-20th century, we’ve managed to refine their energy expenditure from 1400 kWh/year to about 350 kWh/year on average, an impressive 75% reduction.
Even so, modern designers and innovators are working diligently to reduce this number to zero. Coming out of the Electrolux Design Lab competition is Russian designer Yuriy Dmitriev’s Bio Robot Refrigerator – a sleek, wall-mounted fridge that cools our food in the most peculiar of ways: by shoving food into an odourless, non-stick bio-polymer gel. Yup, you read that correctly.
Once your food item, such as an apple or orange, is inserted into the gel-like substance, it becomes encapsulated in a bubble where it is kept cool by thermal retention. The gel apparently works by transforming the incoming UV radiation into visible light, which provides the cooling through different wavelengths.
One of the “coolest” things about the Bio Robot Refrigerator is that 90% of its body can be used as storage space, since no motor or electric cooling system is necessary. The design of this refrigerator looks very surreal and contains no drawers or doors, keeping all the individual food items cold according to an optimal temperature. It is one single piece of green gel that is contained in a frame and is four times smaller than the size of a regular fridge.
But as impressive, and, well, bizarre as this futuristic creation may sound, Dmitriev’s fridge still has some kinks to be worked out. A more detailed explanation of how this fridge works is yet to be provided by its inventor, leaving us skeptical of whether or not the fridge is simply just an eccentric dream.
Regardless, it’s refreshing to see concerted effort being made by designers to reduce the energy usage of some of today’s most widely used household appliances.
To see more Electrolux Design finalists click here.