You’re probably not going to believe this but here it goes anyway.
The refrigerator in this house uses no electricity or fuel, has one moving part and makes no noise!
It has no freezer, so we can’t store frozen food, but to paraphrase the inventor Scott Nielsen, one of the great sacrifices we make is that
we have to eat all the ice cream as soon as we get it home from the store.
What could possibly be a better match than the
Our refrigerator is an icebox. It uses the cold of the winter to freeze a 3’ x 4’ x 4’ block of ice, which is so well insulated that it stays frozen all summer until the next fall, when temperatures again go below freezing. There have been some years when it has never completely thawed!
First a description of the hardware:
There is a galvanized, sheet- metal box that has shelves to keep food and that supports a plastic liner which holds 300 gallons of water. The sheet- metal box has 16” of extruded polystyrene foam insulation on the outside. There is 80’ of ½” copper tubing coiled in the water. This ½” copper tubing is filled with a non ozone-depleting type of refrigerant fluid. The ends of the loop are connected to an expansion tank, which has a ¾” copper tube coming out of it that slopes slowly upward to 50’ of typical aluminum- finned hot water baseboard heating unit that is installed outside, above the garage door.
Here’s how it works:
The refrigerant fluid has a boiling point of about 20 degrees below zero, so the ¾” pipe and the baseboard units are filled with the gas that the fluid produces much like a covered pot of boiling water is filled with steam above the boiling water. Whenever the temperature outside is several degrees colder than the water or ice in the plastic liner, the gas condenses inside the baseboard units in the same way that the steam would condense on the inside of the cover of the pot of boiling water. Since the ¾” pipe slopes downward into the refrigerator, this condensed refrigerant (which is at the temperature of the air outdoors) flows back into the refrigerator. When it is very cold, quite a large volume of the fluid flows, and the water in the plastic liner begins to freeze around the 80” of ½” copper tubing. It takes about 10 days when the temperature is between zero and 20° F to completely freeze the block of ice. The only moving part is an on/off valve that allows you can stop the fluid from flowing when the block of ice is totally frozen; otherwise, all the food in your fridge freezes.
No, this is not an elaborate hoax.
really I’ll swear on a stack of bibles or the sacred scripture of your choice.
It really works REALLY!!
Now, here’s the scary part.
This refrigerator has been working for nearly 20 years, and over the years,
it seems to be,
that it takes longer and longer for it to totally freeze.
Our icebox did not totally freeze during the winter of 2001/2002. Sadly, it did not get cold enough for long enough that winter. This may not seem "earth shattering" to you, but it is a shocking weather event. Global warming will have consequences for you and especially for the lives of your children. I consider it CRITICAL that all responsible people read the summary report of the US Global Change Research Program.
Some simple facts:
1,000 feet of the entire world ocean has warmed by 0.56 degrees Fahrenheit in
thelast 35-45 years
When I first heard about government predictions of global warming effects,
many years ago, I was shocked.
I can assure you that when this refrigerator was designed it NEVER occurred to me that the climate might change and
that the icebox might not totally freeze.
I guess it just goes to show;
no matter how hard you try,
You just can’t always think of everything!
Copyright © 2001 Robert English All rights reserved..