Refrigeration compressor technology revealed
Fisher & Paykel Appliances today unveiled a revolutionary refrigeration technology, developed under a joint development agreement with Embraco (owned by Whirlpool Corporation).
The new technology is not only significantly more energy efficient than conventional compressors by up to 30%, it has the additional benefits of increasing storage capacity and refrigerator design options, while enhancing the temperature control to improve food quality and safety.
In the most significant step to date in bringing the patented engineering and technology innovation to market, Fisher & Paykel Appliances has exclusively licensed the technology to U.S. owned Brazilian compressor manufacturer Embraco (owned by Whirlpool Corporation).
Fisher & Paykel Appliances developed the compressor design concept and technology, and has worked closely with Embraco over the past few years to fine tune the compressor. In partnership with Embraco, the next stage will take it into field trials, and then mass production.
Fisher & Paykel Appliances Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Broadhurst says the development of a compressor that will significantly reduce energy consumption is a tribute to the vision and ingenuity of the engineering team.
“In most households, the refrigerator is one of the larger appliance power users and reducing energy consumption is a consistent goal of our product development team.
This new compressor delivers a leap forward in energy efficiency that has previously been unachievable in conventional compressors used in the majority of today’s refrigerators.”
Current compressors must remain upright as they contain oil. The new environmentally friendly compressor doesn’t contain oil and therefore allows more flexibility in the installation and positioning of the compressor. “In addition to energy savings, the shape of the compressor will allow around 15 litres more space inside the fridge, the equivalent of five 3 litre containers of milk, or an extra fruit and vegetable compartment,” said Broadhurst.
For Fisher & Paykel Appliances, the development of the compressor follows previous break-throughs in appliance technology including the revolutionary SmartDrive TM laundry technology in 1993, and the DishDrawer® in 1999.
The project was affectionately dubbed the ‘Britten’ internally, following an address by renowned Kiwi inventor John Britten as part of the company’s internal leadership programme.
“Britten’s philosophy resonated with our engineering team. Like John Britten, our new compressor challenges conventional thinking and approaches to energy use and design,” said Broadhurst.
Drivers of the project went on to consult and work with a number of organisations both locally and internationally. Each one helped the company advance its compressor design further. Fisher & Paykel Appliances also received vital New Zealand support for the project, including a research and development grant from Tech New Zealand.
“Right from the outset the key driver for this project was to create energy savings. Developing a compressor that can also impact refrigerator capacity and enhance the quality of food stored through more sophisticated temperature control makes this a significant leap forward for refrigeration technology and design.”
Fisher & Paykel Appliances says the next phase of the compressor’s journey starts now, with further testing and field trials beginning in the next few months.