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Energy Efficiency greenfreeze

Published on September 29th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

34

First Greenfreeze Climate-Safe Freezer Launches in the United States

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September 29th, 2008 by
 
greenfreeze

Ice cream lovers of the United States, rejoice. Greenpeace and Ben & Jerry’s have teamed up to bring the first climate-safe ice cream freezer to the USA. The Greenfreeze refrigerator eliminates the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), an extremely potent greenhouse gas that has 1,400 times the global warming impact of CO2.

Greenfreeze technology has been around since 1992 and is installed in over 300 million refrigerators worldwide. But it wasn’t allowed into the United States until earlier this year when the Environmental Protection Agency gave Ben & Jerry’s the go-ahead to test 2,000 Greenfreeze units.

HFCs and other fluorinated gases are the most dangerous greenhouse gases that you’ve probably never heard of. Together, they are responsible for 17 percent of global warming pollution in the atmosphere.

It’s sad that the USA has had to wait 16 years to receive such a widely-used technology, especially since Greenfreeze refrigerators make up 40 percent of all refrigerators produced worldwide each year. But with the US on board, perhaps that number will jump even higher.

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • http://GreenGlobalTravel.com/ Green Global Travel

    This is really great! I’m happy I now have another reason to love Ben and Jerry’s. Glad big names like B&J are stepping up the plate in promoting for a greener earth.

  • Mary Bradley

    How much does the ice cream freezer cost?

  • Randy

    As these fridges get older, more and more cases of fridge explosions are occurring throughout Europe.

  • Randy

    As these fridges get older, more and more cases of fridge explosions are occurring throughout Europe.

  • colinnwn

    @Uncle B

    I can’t figure out what you are saying. I am unaware of any “solid state” or thermoelectric fridges because limitations of the Peltier materials used. They are much less efficient than vapor-compression based refrigeration, and the temperature difference between the hot and cold side is only about 40dF which is frequently insufficient for refrigerator temperatures.

    I think you may be thinking of absorption based refrigeration which doesn’t use electricity, but the heat of combustion of a hydrocarbon, or through solar collection. These refrigerators are reliable, more efficient than thermoelectric, but not as efficient as vapor-compression, and solar ones lose their cooling when the sun goes down. The Ben & Jerry’s freezer though, is a traditional vapor-compression cycle freezer with hydrocarbon refrigerant.

  • colinnwn

    @Uncle B

    I can’t figure out what you are saying. I am unaware of any “solid state” or thermoelectric fridges because limitations of the Peltier materials used. They are much less efficient than vapor-compression based refrigeration, and the temperature difference between the hot and cold side is only about 40dF which is frequently insufficient for refrigerator temperatures.

    I think you may be thinking of absorption based refrigeration which doesn’t use electricity, but the heat of combustion of a hydrocarbon, or through solar collection. These refrigerators are reliable, more efficient than thermoelectric, but not as efficient as vapor-compression, and solar ones lose their cooling when the sun goes down. The Ben & Jerry’s freezer though, is a traditional vapor-compression cycle freezer with hydrocarbon refrigerant.

  • colinnwn

    @Uncle B

    I can’t figure out what you are saying. I am unaware of any “solid state” or thermoelectric fridges because limitations of the Peltier materials used. They are much less efficient than vapor-compression based refrigeration, and the temperature difference between the hot and cold side is only about 40dF which is frequently insufficient for refrigerator temperatures.

    I think you may be thinking of absorption based refrigeration which doesn’t use electricity, but the heat of combustion of a hydrocarbon, or through solar collection. These refrigerators are reliable, more efficient than thermoelectric, but not as efficient as vapor-compression, and solar ones lose their cooling when the sun goes down. The Ben & Jerry’s freezer though, is a traditional vapor-compression cycle freezer with hydrocarbon refrigerant.

  • colinnwn

    @Uncle B

    I can’t figure out what you are saying. I am unaware of any “solid state” or thermoelectric fridges because limitations of the Peltier materials used. They are much less efficient than vapor-compression based refrigeration, and the temperature difference between the hot and cold side is only about 40dF which is frequently insufficient for refrigerator temperatures.

    I think you may be thinking of absorption based refrigeration which doesn’t use electricity, but the heat of combustion of a hydrocarbon, or through solar collection. These refrigerators are reliable, more efficient than thermoelectric, but not as efficient as vapor-compression, and solar ones lose their cooling when the sun goes down. The Ben & Jerry’s freezer though, is a traditional vapor-compression cycle freezer with hydrocarbon refrigerant.

  • bob the mob

    @Iosef Stalin: “Wow! Only 14 years after Europe got them. That is amazing, pretty soon we may get fuel efficient cars too! What a country!”

    Europe got thalidomide before we approved it’s use too. That worked out great. Also, the fuel efficient cars you speak of are all diesel. Those aren’t imported to the states solely because of the People’s Republic of California’s environmental standards, despite being a viable and better alternative.

  • bob the mob

    @Iosef Stalin: “Wow! Only 14 years after Europe got them. That is amazing, pretty soon we may get fuel efficient cars too! What a country!”

    Europe got thalidomide before we approved it’s use too. That worked out great. Also, the fuel efficient cars you speak of are all diesel. Those aren’t imported to the states solely because of the People’s Republic of California’s environmental standards, despite being a viable and better alternative.

  • bob the mob

    @Iosef Stalin: “Wow! Only 14 years after Europe got them. That is amazing, pretty soon we may get fuel efficient cars too! What a country!”

    Europe got thalidomide before we approved it’s use too. That worked out great. Also, the fuel efficient cars you speak of are all diesel. Those aren’t imported to the states solely because of the People’s Republic of California’s environmental standards, despite being a viable and better alternative.

  • David

    I don;t have anything heavy to say just curious as this is interesting technology.

    Who is the manufacturer of this unit? Are there multiple manufactuer or is this technology just being prodcuced by one manufacturer?

  • David

    I don;t have anything heavy to say just curious as this is interesting technology.

    Who is the manufacturer of this unit? Are there multiple manufactuer or is this technology just being prodcuced by one manufacturer?

  • David

    I don;t have anything heavy to say just curious as this is interesting technology.

    Who is the manufacturer of this unit? Are there multiple manufactuer or is this technology just being prodcuced by one manufacturer?

  • Uncle B

    Solid state, no moving parts type fridges last for a lot longer time, so the fuel lost in manufacture is better used. Solar power supplies for solid state fridges works well too! Frozen foods must be sold at a premium due to the high energy costs of keeping them frozen! I stopped freezing my garden produce for this reason and have learned to can and dry many products and store them on a shelf, for free! As the great depression deepens over America, I hope these few ideas will help somebody somewhere to ward off starvation. The lesson America is about to learn will be a severe one. We live far beyond our individual survival abilities, and clamoring in the streets in protest will fall on deaf ears, they will be in Dubai, living it up with the Rothschilds and Bushes.

  • Uncle B

    Solid state, no moving parts type fridges last for a lot longer time, so the fuel lost in manufacture is better used. Solar power supplies for solid state fridges works well too! Frozen foods must be sold at a premium due to the high energy costs of keeping them frozen! I stopped freezing my garden produce for this reason and have learned to can and dry many products and store them on a shelf, for free! As the great depression deepens over America, I hope these few ideas will help somebody somewhere to ward off starvation. The lesson America is about to learn will be a severe one. We live far beyond our individual survival abilities, and clamoring in the streets in protest will fall on deaf ears, they will be in Dubai, living it up with the Rothschilds and Bushes.

  • Uncle B

    Solid state, no moving parts type fridges last for a lot longer time, so the fuel lost in manufacture is better used. Solar power supplies for solid state fridges works well too! Frozen foods must be sold at a premium due to the high energy costs of keeping them frozen! I stopped freezing my garden produce for this reason and have learned to can and dry many products and store them on a shelf, for free! As the great depression deepens over America, I hope these few ideas will help somebody somewhere to ward off starvation. The lesson America is about to learn will be a severe one. We live far beyond our individual survival abilities, and clamoring in the streets in protest will fall on deaf ears, they will be in Dubai, living it up with the Rothschilds and Bushes.

  • colinnwn

    There have been approved fluorocarbon free insulation in the US for years. What is not approved (aside from this trial run) is hydrocarbon refrigerants. The most popular form is propane, but others include methane, ethane, cyclopropane, butane and cyclopentane. You may recognize these as extremely flammable. But they are also very effective refrigerants (better and cheaper than the common R-134a)

    We were hesitant to approve these flammable refrigerants for use in a home inside a running compressor and motor. In the end, the risk may be small compared to other risks in the home and the relatively calm environment. But for something like car AC where the system is under constant stress and vibration, and a wreck could turn the interior of the car into a flame thrower, these refrigerants will never be suitable.

  • colinnwn

    There have been approved fluorocarbon free insulation in the US for years. What is not approved (aside from this trial run) is hydrocarbon refrigerants. The most popular form is propane, but others include methane, ethane, cyclopropane, butane and cyclopentane. You may recognize these as extremely flammable. But they are also very effective refrigerants (better and cheaper than the common R-134a)

    We were hesitant to approve these flammable refrigerants for use in a home inside a running compressor and motor. In the end, the risk may be small compared to other risks in the home and the relatively calm environment. But for something like car AC where the system is under constant stress and vibration, and a wreck could turn the interior of the car into a flame thrower, these refrigerants will never be suitable.

  • Greg

    An archived greenpeace article (http://archive.greenpeace.org/ozone/greenfreeze/) suggests that greenfreeze simple uses hfc free refrigerant gasses and foams which combined with an environmental and energy efficient mindset during production give a modest improvement over current refrigerators (which I think are at least freon free). While I was hoping for an efficient implementation of peltie (thermoelectric) type device, I guess this is a step in the right direction. Anyone know why scientists/industry has opted not to use these refrigerants before (ie governmental regulations against explosive refrigerants, sub par performance compared to HFCs, etc.?)

  • Greg

    An archived greenpeace article (http://archive.greenpeace.org/ozone/greenfreeze/) suggests that greenfreeze simple uses hfc free refrigerant gasses and foams which combined with an environmental and energy efficient mindset during production give a modest improvement over current refrigerators (which I think are at least freon free). While I was hoping for an efficient implementation of peltie (thermoelectric) type device, I guess this is a step in the right direction. Anyone know why scientists/industry has opted not to use these refrigerants before (ie governmental regulations against explosive refrigerants, sub par performance compared to HFCs, etc.?)

  • Greg

    An archived greenpeace article (http://archive.greenpeace.org/ozone/greenfreeze/) suggests that greenfreeze simple uses hfc free refrigerant gasses and foams which combined with an environmental and energy efficient mindset during production give a modest improvement over current refrigerators (which I think are at least freon free). While I was hoping for an efficient implementation of peltie (thermoelectric) type device, I guess this is a step in the right direction. Anyone know why scientists/industry has opted not to use these refrigerants before (ie governmental regulations against explosive refrigerants, sub par performance compared to HFCs, etc.?)

  • http://www.sovietsteel.com Iosef Stalin

    Wow! Only 14 years after Europe got them. That is amazing, pretty soon we may get fuel efficient cars too! What a country!

  • http://www.sovietsteel.com Iosef Stalin

    Wow! Only 14 years after Europe got them. That is amazing, pretty soon we may get fuel efficient cars too! What a country!

  • http://www.sovietsteel.com Iosef Stalin

    Wow! Only 14 years after Europe got them. That is amazing, pretty soon we may get fuel efficient cars too! What a country!

  • John Roberts

    Agreed, why has it taken so long for them to come up with this?

    http://www.anonweb.eu.tc

  • John Roberts

    Agreed, why has it taken so long for them to come up with this?

    http://www.anonweb.eu.tc

  • Game Economy

    I second Craig’s comment. It’s about time! Hopefully this initiative will help to spur on other industries to start rethinking their cooling processes.

  • Frans Grunchard

    You may dislike fluorocarbons but you should at least state the truth.

    According to THE NOAA ANNUAL GREENHOUSE GAS INDEX (AGGI)

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/

    “10 minor long-lived halogen gases including CFC-113, CCl4, CH3CCl3, HCFCs 22, 141b and 142b, HFC134a, SF6, and halons 1211 and 1301″ (which means mostly Ozone Depleting Substances today banned from the market, and very little HFCs) represented in 2007 0.088/2.693 = 3.3 % of all greenhouse gases

  • Frans Grunchard

    You may dislike fluorocarbons but you should at least state the truth.

    According to THE NOAA ANNUAL GREENHOUSE GAS INDEX (AGGI)

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/

    “10 minor long-lived halogen gases including CFC-113, CCl4, CH3CCl3, HCFCs 22, 141b and 142b, HFC134a, SF6, and halons 1211 and 1301″ (which means mostly Ozone Depleting Substances today banned from the market, and very little HFCs) represented in 2007 0.088/2.693 = 3.3 % of all greenhouse gases

  • Craig

    About time… Pretty much all refrigerators sold in the UK have been CFC and HFC free since 2000.

  • Craig

    About time… Pretty much all refrigerators sold in the UK have been CFC and HFC free since 2000.

  • Craig

    About time… Pretty much all refrigerators sold in the UK have been CFC and HFC free since 2000.

  • Game Economy

    I second Craig’s comment. It’s about time! Hopefully this initiative will help to spur on other industries to start rethinking their cooling processes.

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