Quantifying energy savings from replacement of old refrigerators

Quantifying energy savings from replacement of old refrigerators


Lloyd Harrington

Organisation of Presenter:

The University of Melbourne, Australia


Energy labelling for refrigerators in Australia has been in force for over 30 years. It is well documented that the label energy consumption of refrigerators and freezers has fallen dramatically over that period. While a number of studies have measured the energy consumption of refrigerating appliances in the field, the data is very complex and difficult to interpret. Field data measured in houses has constantly fluctuating room temperatures and is subject to somewhat random interactions with householders through door openings and the placement of food and drinks to be cooled. Another problem with field data is that household indoor temperatures are quite seasonal and significant periods of data are required to quantify these effects.
This paper analyses the results of 21 refrigerator replacements that have occurred in Melbourne, Gippsland (Victoria) and Sydney over the past four years. Seven of the replacements were part of a Victorian State Government retrofit program that targeted the removal and replacement of older refrigerators with the best on the market. The remaining 14 appliances were replaced during routine monitoring by the author as part of his PhD field work at The University of Melbourne. The study is unique as high quality energy and temperature data was broken down into 4 key components: temperature driven energy consumption, energy consumption from user interactions, base defrosting requirements and user driven defrosting requirements. This approach allows the old and new appliances to be directly compared under identical operating conditions giving a fair and robust comparison. The results are impressive, with average energy reductions of 60%, ranging from 30% to more than 80%, depending on the household circumstances and the old and new appliances.