Research Project Summary Information
Evaluation of the CoolBot Controller for Small Farm Walk-in-Coolers(ST10563-1)
CDH Energy Corporation
NYSERDA worked with Store It Cold, LLC to understand the technical, economic, and environmental potential of the COOLbot™ controller that enables farmers to develop a low-cost walk-in cooler for produce and other food products (www.storeitcold.com). The controller allows a conventional room air conditioner to be used to maintain a walk-in cooler at temperatures as cold as 32°F. The manufacturer also provides extensive application guidance to enable a “do-it-yourself” customer to select the proper air conditioner and build a walk-in cooler from common materials. The controller connects to the air conditioner without wiring modifications and includes built in defrost cycles to prevent the unit from freezing/frosting up.
NYSERDA contracted with CDH Energy Corp to evaluate the performance of a low cost walk-in cooler concept to determine its energy efficiency, durability, and lifecycle cost relative to conventional walk-in cooler/refrigeration system designs. CDH also evaluated the overall energy and environmental impacts (i.e., CO2 emissions) of this technology by considering the potential for reduced transportation impacts by providing locally-grown and marketed produce.
The COOLbot™ controller walk-in cooler system has proven to achieve energy efficiency gains over conventional walk-in coolers. This product has the potential to increase the availability of local foods with huge up-front cost savings as well as operations and maintenance savings for the farmer.
The COOLbot™ approach makes on-site refrigeration more accessible to farmers, resulting in more income and productivity. GHG emissions are decreased overall because less produce must be transported from farm to consumer. A single 100 square foot cooler displaces more than 600 gallons of diesel fuel per season that would otherwise be required for transporting food.
The analysis also showed that if the user follows the recommended building specifications for the do-it-yourself cooler construction, seasonal energy use is reduced. A 100 square foot cooler at 35°F with leaky construction and R16 walls uses about 1500 kWh per season. The same cooler with more airtight construction and R-30 insulation in the walls uses 25% less energy.
CDH Energy Corporation
132 Albany St PO Box 641
Cazenovia, NY 13035
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - End Use App & Innovation