Energy Efficiency Improvements for Refrigerator/Freezers Using Prototype Doors Containing Gas-Filled Panel Insulating Systems

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Conference Paper

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Energy efficiency improvements in domestic refrigeratorlfreezers are directly influenced by the overall thermal performance of the cabinet and doors. An advanced system for reducing heat gain is Gas-Filled Panel thermal insulation technology. Gas-Filled Panels contain a low-conductivity, inert gas at atmospheric pressure and employ a reflective baffle to suppress radiation and convection within the gas. This paper presents energy use test results for a 1993 model 500 liter top mount refrigerator/freezer operated with its original doors and with a series of alternative prototype doors. Gas-Filled Panel technology was used in two types of prototype refrigeratorlfreezer doors. In one design, panels were used in composite with foam in standard metal door pans; this design yielded no measurable energy savings. In the other design, special polymer door pans were fitted with panels that fill nearly all of the available insulation volume; this design yielded a 6.5% increase in energy efficiency for the entire refrigerator/freezer. The EPA Refrigerator Analysis computer program has been used to predict the change in daily energy consumption with the alternative doors. The computer model also projects a 25% energy efficiency improvement for asrefrigerator/freezer that would use Gas-Filled Panel insulation throughout the cabinet as well as the doors.


Proceedings of the 46th International Appliance Technical

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