Simply put, eCube® is an Energy-Saving Device for Commercial Refrigerators.
The eCube® Concept
- Commercial refrigerators waste 15-30% of their energy and run 50% or more cycles than necessary trying to keep food temperature constant
- Thermostats measure air temperature – not food temperature
- eCube®’s technology simulates food and beverage thermal qualities and automatically relays this information to the existing thermostat or telemetry
- Cooling cycles are reduced – saving energy, lowering wear and tear, reducing emissions and ensuring better food safety
How refrigeration units work
Refrigeration units work in a series of cycles when the unit starts and stops to maintain the required storage temperature. Air cycles (on/off) typically produce a minimum of 4 cycles per hour and, in some open display cases, 20 cycles per hour. Refrigeration units usually monitor circulating air temperature in order to decide when to switch on and off. Circulating air temperature, however, tends to rise far more quickly than food temperature and, as a result, the refrigeration unit works harder than necessary to maintain stored products at the right temperature. This, in turn, leads to excessive electricity consumption and undue wear and tear on the equipment.
How eCube® works
eCube® consists of a food simulant contained in a double-skinned enclosure that mimics food temperature at approximately 10mm beneath the surface. With eCube®, the thermostat regulates the refrigeration temperature based upon food temperature rather than air temperature, thereby maintaining food at the proper temperature. When fitted to the thermostat sensor, which controls the compressor, eCube® significantly reduces the frequency of the refrigeration cycles which are now based on food temperature rather than fluctuating air temperature. By using eCube® as a cycle control mechanism, refrigeration cycles last longer but can be reduced by as much as 85%. For example, a Dairy Case cycles 3 minutes on, 2 minutes off = 12 cycles per hour. With eCube®, the cycles change to 8 minutes on, 7 minutes off = 4 cycles per hour; a 66.7% reduction in starts. As the start-up of a refrigerator compressor uses 3 times more power (i.e. start-up 12 amps, run 4 amps) considerable energy savings are achieved. In addition, the more efficient refrigeration cycle leads to a more efficient unit, which then leads to a colder storage area. Consequently, by re-adjusting the thermostat back to its normal temperature settings, there are further substantial energy savings, without compromising food safety and quality.