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Coca-Cola, Fuji ‘Power-Free’ Vending Machine Cuts Daytime Energy Use 95%

Coca-Cola Japan and Fuji Electric Retail Systems developed a vending machine that can operate without using power for cooling for up to 16 hours per day, reducing daytime energy use by 95 percent, the companies say.

Coca-Cola will begin testing the A011, part of the Apollo energy-saving vending machine development project, for two months starting July 2 in Saitama Prefecture’s Kumagaya City and Gifu Prefecture’s Tajimi City, the hottest regions in Japan.

The A011 machine shifts its power use for cooling from usual peak midday times to nighttime, when there is a relative surplus power capacity.

With conventional vending machines, the temperature in the machine would rise slowly if cooling was stopped for long periods of time, since only a portion of the products stored inside of it were cooled in response to sales — the traditional machine’s effort to limit electricity consumed. The A011, however, cools all products at night, which limits the machine’s rise in temperature, even after it stops using power for cooling for long periods of times.

The A011 also uses more vacuum insulation materials, so the machine is not affected as much by outside temperature. According to Coke, the companies also made the doors more airtight to save energy and help provide cold products.

Coca-Cola Japan has said it will cut its power use by 15 percent this summer by turning off outdoor advertisements at more than 30 locations across the country, shutting down some offices for a week, and other energy-saving initiatives.

All of Coca-Cola Japan’s newly purchased can and PET vending machines have been HFC-free since 2011, and LED lighting is being used in all vending machines starting this year.

In its 2010-2011 sustainability report, the Coca-Cola Company said it exceeded its goal of installing 150,000 HFC-free coolers in the marketplace by 2010, with about 277,000 installed by the end of that year, and increased the total to 400,000 by August 31, 2011. By 2015 it aims to make all new cold-drink equipment HFC-free, with an interim goal of being 50 percent HFC-free by 2012, up from 15 percent in 2010.

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