Q&A & Response to some common objections
1. It's only good for students in dormitories. The market is very limited.
Is a window A/C only for students in dormitories? A window R/F "Refrigerator/Freezer" can save electricity all year round and prolongs the R/F's life. That's good for everyone.
2. The electricity savings rate is not worth making the change.
According to Energy Information Administration's 2001 official energy statistics table Refrigerators consumed 14% (11.3 billion kWh), freezers 5.2%, lighting 8.6% and TVs 2.8%. The refrigerator consumes more electricity (14%) than space heating (8.2%), computers (2%), TVs (2.8%), lighting (9%) or window A/C (2%). The Fridge is a necessity that is never turned off. We switch the light off when leaving a room and use energy saving light bulbs even though lighting is only 9% of total energy consumption.
3. If it saves electricity in cold climate, won't it waste electricity in hot climate?
No it does not for the following two reasons.
3A) Without A/C, even in a hot climate, the kitchen (because of the oven, the indoor refrigerator and the dishwasher) is warmer than outdoors. Besides, most people don't use A/C’s to cool their kitchen. Assuming that the A/C is on and the kitchen is colder than outdoors, the window R/F consumes the same amount of electricity because it does not work against the A/C (heat the kitchen) like an indoor refrigerator does.
3B) the window R/F is intelligent. It freezes water at night (when it's cooler than day). The ice melts during the day (hot) to keep the refrigerator cool for free. The energy savings is due to the enthalpy of fusion of water. It also reduces the electricity demand on the city's electric grid during the peak hot days of summer which many municipalities charge extra due to very high demand.
4. It blocks the kitchen window and can be stolen from outside.
As shown on the right image, the window R/F preferably sits on the floor under or next to the window so that it cannot be stolen from outside. The only requirement is that its condenser is positioned outdoors. Through two small holes in the kitchen wall, the condenser can be attached to the refrigerator (requires custom installation) so that it does not block the window. On the flip side, since the back portion of the window R/F is outdoors, it saves kitchen space and reduces noise.
5. There are issues with condenser pressures at very low temperatures. The condenser pressure gets so low that the vapor pressure is such that there is not enough pressure differential between the condenser and the evaporator and the refrigeration cycle just does not work any more and the freezer temp gets above freezing.
6. You have to go back and forth between turning the A/C and the fridge switch. It will not function as both simultaneously.
False. If it's set to automatic, the higher priority is given to the refrigerator/freezer unit to avoid food spoilage.
7. Besides saving electricity, how else does a window R/F help the environment ?
7A) According to Energy Information Administration's web site, Coal was used to generate the largest share (49.7 %) of electricity in 2005 2,013 billion kWh. Coal is a major source of pollution and global warming.
7B) By combining the major components incorporated in refrigerators, A/C’s and heat pumps, it becomes a hybrid synergistic device that costs less, is more energy efficient, saves space and works better than the individual devices sold separately. By combining three appliances (refrigerator, heat pump and A/C) into one unit, there will be manufacturing, transportation and long term maintenance reductions and efficiencies.
8) Why does a window
R/F have longer life than a similar indoor R/F
Whenever the outdoors is colder than the kitchen, its thermostat will not activate the motor as frequently as a similar indoor R/F. In addition, since its back is exposed to the cold outdoor temperature (at night, during spring, autumn or winter), the R/F box does not get warm as fast as an indoor R/F will. During winter it uses outdoor cold air to cool its inside. Also please see physical test results.
9. How does a window R/F reduce electricity demand in the peak hot days of summer on the city's electric grid ?
See 3B Above.