Now, ‘green’ fridge that runs on solar power

Australian researchers have developed a device that allows household fridges to run easily on solar or wind power.

Such an invention would lead to a drastic reduction in reduce greenhouse gas emission and make renewable energy more useable as well.

The fridges are capable to switch themselves on and off regularly as they keep their temperature between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius.

A small box developed by the team led by engineer Sam West connects all the fridges in an area electronically.

They “talk” to each other, and to renewable energy suppliers and decide when is the best time to turn on the compressor and cool themselves down.

So when there is plenty of solar power available, the fridges switch themselves on. And when the clouds roll in, they switch themselves off.

Engineer Sam West, who helped develop the device at CSIRO’s research centre in Newcastle, said using the humble fridge to store renewable energy was exciting.

“A lot of people are surprised to hear that they can use (their fridge) for this kind of storage, usually they’re pretty interested,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted West, as saying.

However, one of the major obstacles to the widespread use of renewable energy is its reliability.

West suggests that finding ways to store renewable energy would help address the issue.

The “green fridge” was one way of doing it, in the form of thermal energy - or cold.

The organisation hopes to roll out a trial version of the system, and said it was possible that one day all fridges would come equipped with the device.