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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Device to reduce fridge consumption of electricity developed in Kumasi

A Kumasi based electronics technician at the Suame Magazine, Mr Kwame Adjei Manu has developed an electronic device that is capable of reducing the domestic electricity consumption of refrigerators by half.

Known as “Fridge Timer”, the device when connected enables the fridge to automatically cut off electricity consumption at a prescribed time like the way a thermostat maintains a desired set point temperature in a system.

The fridge timer has been designed to automatically switch off and on electric power to the fridge at an interval of four hours helping to save about 50 percent of the energy consumption.

Samples of the device have since been given to the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) for trials and testing.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, Mr Manu who is also the Managing Director of Amec Electronics at the Suame Magazine said research had proved that fridges were the highest consumer of domestic electricity supply due to their constant switch-on.

He said most people do not bother to switch off their fridges and that the fridge is always allowed to be switched on all the time except when there was a power outage.

He said research had also indicated that when a refrigerator is switch on for about four hours, the set point temperature amassed in it could be maintained for the next four hours whiles the fridge is switched off.

“Hence I decided to manufacture a device that would switch-on and off the fridge at a four hour interval so as to help save electricity consumption domestically.”

Mr Manu said the device, some of which had already been given to the Ghana Standards Board for trials and testing, was developed after a two-year intensive research work by him.

He said majority of the people in Ghana use second hand fridges most of which are faulty and have their thermostats not working at all, hence the Fridge Timer would help to reduce their energy consumption and safe them a lot of money.

A thermostat is a device for regulating the temperature of a system so that the system's temperature is maintained near a desired set point temperature. The thermostat does this by controlling the flow of heat energy into or out of the system. That is, the thermostat switches heating or cooling devices on or off as needed to maintain the correct temperature.

Mr Manu explained that the Fridge Timer allowed the fridge to cut off energy automatically for four hours before it re-starts power consumption, adding that, “at the end of the day, energy consumption of the fridges is reduced by 50 percent without reducing the temperature of the fridge”.

He said the device would not only help Ghanaians to conserve energy but also help reduce energy cost paid by consumers to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

“In these days of rising energy prices and corresponding energy crisis, people should be interested to see how their thermostat works but unfortunately most of the second refrigerators being imported into the country today have their thermostats not functioning”, he said.

The fridge timer is very useful for small domestic refrigeration, he said.

Mr Manu also said his company had also developed a DC-AC Invertor/Charger device, which served as alternative power supply during electricity outages.

He said the device could be used by the energy consumption appliances in the home for a period of 12 hours.

He appealed to Ghanaians to accept the devices in order to reduce energy consumption and electricity bills.