The growing concerns over global warming due to greenhouse emission have pushed the appliance industry in Taiwan to further improve energy efficiency of its products. Refrigerator-freezer, as one of the major home appliances, consumes about one-fifth electricity in a household, and its life expectancy could be as long as 10-15 years. In response to expected future regulations to be stricter, several design options were considered for improving the energy efficiency of a conventionally designed domestic refrigerator-freezer. The options, such as cabinet insulation improvements using vacuum insulation panels (VIPs), energy saving defrost control, and high-efficiency compressors were examined in a prototype refrigerator-freezer.
The energy consumption of the original 1997 production refrigerator-freezer was selected as the baseline in order to compare the measured energy savings of each and combined options on the prototype refrigerator-freezer. This study has reached a goal to develop a prototype that has an energy consumption rate of 20% less than the baseline refrigerator-freezer.