DIY Project : Convert Freezer into Super Efficient Fridge

DIY Project : Convert Freezer into Super Efficient Fridge

Range Govindan
Aug 18, 2009

One of the appliances that eats up a lot of power is the fridge. By its design, it's terribly inefficient, since once the doors are opened, all of the cold air seeps out. Cold air tends to stay lower than hot air. It just makes plain sense to have a fridge which opens from the top. This isn't something new, but it's just hard to beat the convenience of a normal fridge. All foods are easily within reach. That being said, there has to be some way of making a better fridge.

Even though there have been advances in the design of fridges, they still remain inefficient. Thankfully, chest freezers don't suffer from that problem since they are opened only from the top. This is why chest freezers can be converted into super-efficient refrigerators. You may wonder how efficient the resulting fridge is. It is very efficient. It will consume 0.1kWh a day whereas a modern fridge will consume between 1kWh and 3 kWh a day. That's at least 10 times more efficient. Just to give you an idea, it costs $5 to run it for an entire year.

This conversion can be made thanks to Tom Chalko, an energy-conscious Australian. He modified his own chest freezer so that he could use solar and wind power to run his home. This fridge works using a timer and the chest fridge works only 2 minutes per hour. The rest of the time, it's eerily silent.

For about $30, you can purchase a kit to assemble your own thermostat and timer. If however you aren't good at soldering, you can purchase a fully built model for $150. Once you have your unit, you just need to plug your chest freezer into it and voila! You've got a chest fridge. The only thing that you need to put in your freezer is a sensor module for the thermostat. For DIY enthusiasts, Tom has also produced a handy PDF guide to make your own thermostat/timer.

[via Lifehacker]

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