The idea in question was a refrigerating system that uses physics to beat the efficiency of standard commercial refrigerators, and it soon became the heart of Tansley's Welsh-based firm, Sure Chill. Innovation in this area is worth examination, as climate change, overpopulation, and other 21st century issues are forcing infrastructures around the world to reassess what takes up their respective energy grids. The average US household has a refrigerator taking up around 13 percent of overall consumption (only the air conditioner uses more energy) and spends 600kw annually. While these figures are an improvement from older models before 2001 that could use a whopping 1400 kilowatts a year, there's still room for improvement.
So how can Sure Chill's version of refrigeration help? For one, it doesn't need to be plugged into the grid all the time. On the contrary, a Sure Chill refrigerator can stay at optimal cooling levels for up to 12 days. How? By using the simple rules of physics applying to water circulation. Water is at its heaviest at precisely 4 degrees C. Any other temperature and it begins to rise, but if maintained at 4 degrees, it sinks, bringing heat with it (hence the frozen top of a lake). This temperature is achieved through the power system of a Sure Chill fridge, which creates a top layer of ice in a reservoir frame around the unit with water staying below at the magic 4 degrees number. But the design relies on nature once its turned off; as the water rises with the temperature, it mixes with the water sinking from the melted ice. This creates a perfect stasis that can remarkably last days without renewed power to establish cooling again:
Sure Chill chairman Peter Saunders (left) and chief executive
Keith Bartlett with the new Sure Chill technology.
A hearty challenge, but if met, one that could revolutionize food, medical, and storage industries around the world.
Donal Thoms-Cappello is a freelance writer for Rotor Clip Company.