Superefficient Refrigerators: Opportunities and Challenges for Efficiency Improvement Globally

TitleSuperefficient Refrigerators: Opportunities and Challenges for Efficiency Improvement Globally
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsShah, Nihar, Won Young Park, Nicholas Bojda, Michael A McNeil, Paul Waide
Conference Name2014 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Date Published08/2014
Conference LocationPacific Grove, Ca

As an energy-intensive mainstream product, residential refrigerators present a significantopportunity to reduce electricity consumption through energy efficiency improvements.Refrigerators expend a considerable amount of electricity during normal use, typicallyconsuming between 100 to 1,000 kWh of electricity per annum. This paper presents the results ofa technical analysis done for refrigerators in support of the Super-efficient Equipment andAppliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative. Beginning from a “base case” representative of theaverage unit sold in India, we analyze efficiency improvement options and their correspondingcosts to build a cost-versus-efficiency relationship. We then consider design improvementoptions that are known to be the most cost effective and that can improve efficiency givencurrent design configurations. We also analyze and present additional “super-efficient” options,such as vacuum-insulated panels. We estimate the cost of conserved electricity for the variousoptions, allowing flexible program design for market transformation programs toward higherefficiency. We estimate ~160TWh/year of energy savings are cost effective in 2030, indicatingsignificant potential for efficiency improvement in refrigerators in SEAD economies and China.