Every once in a while someone comes up with an idea that is so astoundingly simple that you have to wonder “why didn’t I think of that.” Every year in this part of the country a remarkable thing happens. The leaves fall off the trees, the sun goes into hibernation, and the rain turns into snow, we call it winter. Global warming aside, its a pretty regular event that can be counted on every year. The number one feature of winter that most people notice is that, it gets really freaking cold outside. This is key to the workings of an invention by a company called Freeaire.
The Freeaire system is an add on product for existing walk in freezers, coolers, meat lockers, cold storage, and any other refrigerated space (I am sure you could modify it to work with a home unit, but its designed for commercial spaces). It works with all those large walk in coolers that are in just about every corner store in the world.
It has a little sensor and a fan, and when its really cold outside it pumps in cold outside air instead of turning the compressor on. Simple, cheap, why didn’t I think of this.
From the Site
The Basic Freeaire Refrigeration System can be used in walk-in coolers, freezers and cold storage warehouses anywhere in the world. A Freeaire system utilizes an electronic controller called the Cooler Controller to finely tune the operation of standard refrigeration equipment. The microprocessor inside the model 2001 Cooler Controller knows the exact temperature that you want and the best way to achieve it. It knows when critical refrigeration system components should run and it saves energy and money by knowing when they shouldn’t. It controls the condensing unit (compressor and condenser fan) and evaporator fans to keep a constant temperature throughout the space. It stops the evaporator fans when not needed, usually more than half the time, which also reduces the compressor’s refrigeration load. Proper airflow is maintained when the evaporator fans switch off by operating one or more of the Freeaire’s energy-efficient Circ circulating fans. The Cooler Controller regularly and thoroughly defrosts the evaporator coils, but for only as long as they need it. It allows heaters to defog reach-in glass doors, but only when necessary. Some Freeaire systems use highly efficient replacement Evap evaporator fan motors that use 30 to 40% less energy than standard ones. All of these measures combine to save you huge amounts of electricity and money, whether you live at the equator or the Arctic Circle.
But it’s in colder climates, where the words “snow”, “ice” and “wind-chill factor” are often heard, that the Freeaire has a special talent. It taps into the greatest source of refrigeration ever created: winter. The Freeaire’s Cool Breeze Outside Air Package can use fresh, cold outside air to cool the room, simply using what Nature has so considerately and freely offered, to give the whole condensing unit and evaporator fans the winter off. Simply moving cold air from the outside to the inside is much more efficient than making cold air with a compressor system, even when the outside air is only a few degrees colder than the air it’s replacing. In the northern United States, it is not uncommon for a walk-in cooler with a Freeaire system with outside air to use less than 10% of the energy needed by a compressor system for 150 days per year.
Here is a simple payback example of a client.
So you save money, save electricity, save greenhouse gas emissions, help the planet, your wallet, and you still get a nice cold pop to drink all year long. If you own a large walk in cooler, you owe it to yourself and the planet to check out Freeaire.