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CTDL 141: free air

It is these sort of things that will become more and more reality as energy demands increase, and as countries like China and India become more “modernized.”

Clark, in his post today about heat pumps and hot water, wondered aloud about other energy-saving techniques:

Why doesn’t my fridge connect to the outside world? In wintertime, there’s plenty of cold air for free, just outside my window. In summertime, the hot air from the fridge’s air pump gets recirculated into my already-overheated house. Seems like a problem looking for a solution. Any takers?

This, in turn, reminded me of the Freeaire Refrigeration System, which as Blaine wrote, is

“…designed to provide such free cooling for walk-in coolers, freezers and cold storage warehouses. The system utilizes an electronic controller to finely tune the operation of standard refrigeration equipment, and this controller simply monitors the outdoor temperature and desired temperature settings and stops refrigerator evaporator fans when not needed, which also reduces the compressor’s refrigeration load. Proper airflow is maintained when the evaporator fans switch off by operating one or more energy-efficient circulating fans.

[From WorldChanging: FreeAire and Free Lunches]

In much the same way that outsourcing to India is less attractive to large corporations now that cost of living and salaries have gone up for IT people who live there, the cost of other goods and services from China will go up as their workforce starts to garner better pay. When that happens it will then become more profitable (and hence for likely) for companies to device energy efficient solutions to problems of limited energy resources.

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