ZERO-ENERGY THERMAL REFRIGERATOR FRAME
My Role: Design engineer a refrigeration frame that uses zero energy, typically provided by a heated wire system, to heat the display and shield from cold temperature elements that create condensation on glass. By doing so a new frame will reduce energy cost, energy consumption, and materials. The solution proposed was to start by redesigning the current Anthony 101X-LE frame and add thermal insulation.
When customers open and close the freezer door at the supermarket, the glass on the inside will fog making it difficult to see all of the products inside. The task is to create a more sustainable energy method to eliminate the fog without using the standard energy-sapping door heaters. The approach is to design and test whether thermal insulation materials can be used instead.
FRAME CROSS SECTIONS: Multiple frame concepts were developed highlighting where thermal insulators would provide optimal efficiency.
COMPUTER SIMULATION EXPERIMENT:
Thermal Analysis of Perimeter and Mullion
As expected, when the insulation performance increases, the temperatures on the surface got warmer. The vacuum insulated panel (VIP) performed the best, but the initial designs do not fully pass the condensation criteria and goal to keep the surface temperature above 58˚F. The experiment parameters had three thermal insulators programmed accordingly in the conditions below:
Thermal Analysis Objective
In order to reduce energy consumption, adding insulation reduces the heat transfer rate in order to maintain the same surface temperature with less energy input. This quick lab test will evaluate if VIP is able to reduce heat transfer rate. Determine the reduction in heat transfer due to the effect of vacuum insulation sections then compare to existing measured frame surface temperatures in freezing conditions.
Lab Experiment Set-up
Lab Experiment Results
The final results showed a considerable reduction in the required watt density to maintain surface temperatures using VIP, and were as followed:
Perimeter Frame Section
Zero Energy Frame Concept