Alternatives and improvements to refrigerators and freezers

Centre for Appropriate Technology Discussion Energy Alternatives and improvements to refrigerators and freezers

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    Aryana Alimohammadian

      Hi our team is working on the project opportunity 4.1 – Alternatives and improvements to refrigerators and freezers.
      A potential design idea is to create a room/enclosed space on the ceiling of which solar panels are installed for energy supply purposes. It is also considered to install solar panels near the shed areas. For instance, a structure with a height of about 2 m above the ground such as car parks.
      A consideration is to build this shed in the centre of Cape York so that the community members can have equal access to that. An other idea is to build more than one shed in order to reduce the distance for further located houses. Since this room is considered to be built in communal households, the room can be commonly used for storing large amounts of food only.
      Regarding this idea, I wanted to ask the following questions:

      1. The aim is to keep the current fridges, and add a new design of fridge that will solve the problem/s caused by storing large amounts of food. An idea is to design a system and space for only a specified range of food in terms of its size and weight. I wanted to ask if this idea is appropriate? The reason for this question is because due to the constraints considered for the size and weight of the food intended to be stored in the designed room, the community members may need to follow some rules, for instance, measuring and weighting their food before storing them in the room and change the amount size if needed.

      2. Considering the fact that traditional hunting practices are to be maintained, I wanted to ask what animals are traditionally hunted for consumption purposes?

      3. An issue with the current refrigerators/freezers is recognised as that large amounts of food can cause “massive power spikes”. Regarding that, my question is what were or have been the size/s of food that have caused power spikes? In fact, I am looking for a range of sizes of meat, in particular, that have caused a power spike while being stored in fridges. (This information will help us consider and determine an appropriate space for the room)

      4. Having considered that individuals families have slightly different methods of storing food, I wanted to ask, in general, what are the steps taken before storing food in fridges. For instance, in the case of meat of a hunted animal, is the meat detached from bones and cut into pieces, or is the animal body with bones and without any cuttings stored in fridges? This information will us make a better choice in the determining the shape, size and space provided by the room.

      5. It is highlighted that community members may leave the region as needed and our design must allow this to keep happening. Regarding that, I wanted to ask the followings:
      • On average, how many community members leave the region (temporarily)?
      • At what times of the year do they leave?
      • On average, how long do the community members leave the region for?
      (This information will help us determine the right room temperature so that food is well stored – not too frozen nor spoiled, over the known period of leave.)
      6. According to the rules and regulations, is it allowed to install new solar panels and use them as a separate power generator (from the existing solar panels) for the designed space?

      Grace Roberts

        Hi Aryana,

        Thanks for your questions here and I apologise about our delay in responding to you.

        I recall that most of your questions here were answered in our event last week – Stakeholder Insights: Q&A and you can view the recordings and check the MURAL for responses. I will however attempt to answer Q4 that I don’t remember being addressed during the event:

        4. Assume that various scenarios will need to be accounted for – I have heard of whole animals being stored (causing power spikes) but it’s best to additionally provide the functionality of having meat pre-cut before cooling. So keep your solution suitable for either where possible – that way no matter how the community uses the space, it will be a versatile solution to account for different users using it differently, and reduces the risk of issues arising.

        Check the MURAL here for the remaining responses, and if they are not there listen back to the recording if we addressed it verbally, otherwise we are endeavouring to answer the remaining questions on the MURAL this week to check back later.

        Hope that helps, best of luck with your project.

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