Contract catering company BaxterStorey has used energy-monitoring tools and smart lighting controls in its offices for some months, but recently took its ‘green’ initiative a step further by installing eCubes in its food storage refrigerators.
An eCube is a small device that contains a ‘food simulant’, a substance that mimics the properties of foodstuffs. It can therefore identify whether food in the same environment is likely to be decaying. The device relays information about the state of the ‘simulant’ to the fridge’s thermostat.
“When you open a fridge, the air temperature rises and the fridge responds by generating more cold air,” explains Mike Hanson, the company’s head of environment and sustainability. “By attaching the eCube to the thermostat inside the fridge, the thermostat gets a more accurate reading, and the fridge isn’t working unnecessarily.”
By cutting out unnecessary cooling, eCubes can reduce an appliance’s energy consumption by as much as 33% and extend the lifespan of appliances significantly. For a company with thousands of fridges, this represents a sizeable annual saving.
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