Refrigerators use more energy than any other appliance in a household. The US has over 200 million refrigerators running at this time. Our temperature controller combined with a chest freezer will out perform any energy star refrigerator by a factor of 2. Combined with a smaller chest freezer footprint this efficiency can be improved even further. In our case we switched from a upright energy star refrigerator to a chest freezer and reduced our refrigerator energy usage by a factor of 8.
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Seems a bit extreme to me. I would be more interested in finding ways to redesign the existing refrigerator so that it can be made more efficient. Just taking the standard unit and making a series of smaller compartments with more doors on it would be huge. Don’t use shelves – use pull out drawers instead (cold air can’t escape from a bin as easily as it can fall off of a shelf).
My current refrigerator runs on about 159 Kwh/month, but I’d bet I could reduce that significantly if I had the tools, time, and imagination to modify it. Of course – my refrigerator is a decade or more old, so just buying something new would be a step in the right direction.
What about frost and condensation? Chest freezers, last time I looked, didn’t come with a defrost feature. I use a chest freezer for beer with a temperature controller and without some way to dry it out inside, it would quickly turn into a giant cold wet mess.
Finally, I wouldn’t be comfortable with all of his exposed circuitry and wiring. Gotta have a project box if for no other reason than it would dramatically improve the safety of using the project 24×7.
Not trying to be picky – just some constructive thoughts.