National Energy Technologies has released an Eco Cube for refrigeration that the company says can cut energy use between 10 and 20 percent and save businesses money on food and beverage preservation by more accurately measuring food temperature.
The company’s Food Temperature Simulator is a device that fits over the thermostat probe on a refrigerator or freezer. Inside the device is a material that mimics the properties of food and beverages. The company says this means that rather than responding to fluctuating air temperature, its product allows the unit to respond to food temperature.
This more accurate indicator of refrigeration needs results in more efficient run cycles, the company says. The compressor may run longer but for fewer repetitions. These longer cycles create “thermal inertia” as it cools food for a longer period of time at a more accurate temperature, thereby increasing the efficiency of the unit.
Because the compressor is cycling less often — up to 40 percent less, National Energy Technologies says — the life of the compressor is extended and it uses less energy.
The Food Temperature Simulator is designed for placement into refrigeration containing dairy, meat, ready meals and other food products meant to be maintained at or below 41 degrees.
The company says NSF International has tested the product, and under the performance requirements of Protocol P235 the Food Temperature Simulator has passed the following tests:
- The temperature testing indicated a variance of ±2° F of the refrigerated food products l mm below their surface during the normal refrigeration operations test. The purpose of the test is to ensure the product accurately mimics the food product temperatures.
- The temperature variance shutdown test is no more than 2° F lower and no more than ±5° higher than the refrigerated food products during the warm-up test that imitates a refrigeration failure. The purpose of the test is to indicate a higher temperature than the food products to provide advanced warning and allows users to take remedial actions.
Under Protocol P235 refrigeration efficiency products are required to adhere to standards ANSI/NSF 2 for Food Equipment Materials Requirements and ANSI/NSF 2 for Food Equipment Requirements for Design & Construction. Both of these standards ensure that this product design is easily cleanable and the materials used are not harmful when operated in the refrigeration environment.