Why power freezers when it’s freezing?

The next time you walk into a gas station convenience store during the winter to grab a bottle of soda, consider the various heat stages you go through.

First you’re outside in sub-zero degree temperature. Then you enter a comfortably heated store. Then you approach a freezer where you open a door, reach onto a cold shelf, and grab your frosty bottle. Little do you know that the freezer door is heated to keep from fogging up. Does any of this make sense?

A U.S. company selling a product called the Freeaire Refrigeration System thinks so. It is trying to convince companies with a walk-in freezer, cooler or cold storage that they can dramatically reduce their energy bills by cooling products with outdoor air. The Freeaire system not only brings in air from outside, it balances it with the entire refrigeration system to make sure the temperature is consistent regardless of the weather. In many ways it complements Ice Energy’s Ice Bear system, which works best during warm seasons.

A company called Verta Energy Services distributes the Freeaire product in Canada. So far it has convinced Sunoco to trial the product at one of its gas station stores north of Toronto. Mac’s, a major convenience store retailer in Canada, is also testing out the system at one of its stores in Ontario.

It’s a relatively simple concept. Half the time getting companies to embrace the idea is as easy as getting a company to just think about it. Given time-of-using pricing in Ontario, to be introduced later next year, will put a premium of peak-time electricity use perhaps it’s time that more retailers give it a thought.

3 thoughts on “Why power freezers when it’s freezing?”

  1. Old idea! DIYer’s have been adding 1 way valves and thermometer controlled fans to fridges and freezers for years. The in fridge thermometer is in series with an outdoor thermometer and the fan turns on when the outdoor temperature is lower than the infridge thermometer set point and the infridge temperature is higher than the setpoint. This is backed up by the regular fridge thermostat set a little higher than the fan thermostat so if the temp is too high outside the regular compressor kicks in. Not rocket science.

  2. My parents, in eco-friendly British Columbia, have an animal-proof wooden cabinet bolted to the outside of their house. When it’s cool out, they use it as a fridge. It’s not technology, but it sure is clean. Have a good weekend!

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