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Test may lead to fall in cost of running a fridge

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 8 December 2009 at 9:52 am

Fridges and freezers tend are some of the most expensive home appliances to run,  and least energy efficient, as they constantly draw electricity. A new trial aims to manage the amount of electricity used to reduce carbon emissions associated with fridge use. 

Appliances fitted with dynamic demand technology will automatically modify their power consumption in response to second-by-second changes in the balance between supply and demand on the grid. This means that it will draw electricity when there is capacity, and not when the grid is heavily loaded. This will mean less electricity will need to be generated, and less carbon emitted.

Fridge maker Indesit is joining smart grid technology company RLtec and energy provider npower to run what they say is Europe's largest residential trial of this technology. In the first phase, npower will distribute 300 fridges to customers in the UK by the end of this year.

They will use this as the basis for a "rigorous analysis of how the technology works in appliances in every day use." This will be followed by a roll out of 3,000 fridges and freezers, so they can calculate carbon savings from dynamic demand.

While this trial seems to be concentrating on carbon savings, it should be possible for this technology to reduce domestic electricity bills too. Smart grid technology has the potential to change our electricity use, so we can use it when demand is lower and it is cheaper. We just need to keep an eye on the big six power companies to make sure that they've got our interests at heart, as well as their own.

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