FRIGID AIR is a refrigerator that exploits air thermal insulation capacity, thanks to an inflatable alveolar wall. Its flexibility allows users to change the volume of the refrigerator and cooling capacity depending on the amount of food stored.
ENSCI – Les Ateliers, France
Faculty Advisor: Matt Sindall
Design: Guillaume Jandin
Air, when it is dry and motionless, is inherently the best thermal insulator. This refrigerator exploits this characteristic of air thanks to an inflatable alveolar wall. The layer of air is made up of two layers, enclosing a honeycomb structure that prevents the transfer of positive and negative calories by minimising radiation, convection and conduction. This replaces all types of existing rigid foam structures (polystyrene or polyurethane) that are usually used.
A typical fridge always has the same volume of air to be cooled. FRIGID AIR’s flexibility allows the user to change its volume capacity depending on the amount of food stored. The bag is sealed, and inside, there is a protective waterproof textile fixed on the inflated wall via Velcro strips. This allows food to be compartmentalised food and makes fridge cleaning easier.
A basic heat pump cools the food storage space. Unlike a traditional refrigerator, it is not in contact with the cold zone. Since the technical parts emit heat, they are a separate component from the cold storage bag. It has a compressor and condenser all in one. Like a kind of warm totem, the heat generated by the parts is used for different purposes in the kitchen: to dry a dishtowel, to defrost a frozen dish, to keep food warm, etc. This multifunctional capability optimises and reduces the energy consumed by the fridge.