Tez Patel, an engineer and industrial designer has created the perfect user-friendly and eco-friendly refrigerator. Though he suggests his eco-fridge, “Oceania,” is designed for the year 2020, it sure would be nice if a big kitchen appliance manufacturer made it happen sooner. A fridge can use up to 15 percent of our household energy!
The Oceania is one refrigerator unit with four drawers, each of which can be controlled independently. The top three drawers use thermoelectric magnetic cooling and the bottom section, for bread and fruit, uses water/ceramic cooling. These cooling technologies are both new to home refrigeration and are clean technologies, not dependent on noxious chemicals for coolants.
Each drawer of the Oceania opens fully so you can see everything inside at one glance, and low voltage LED’s light your way. The see-through drawers not only assist you in locating your foodstuffs, but Patel has cleverly added the ability to turn on the refrigerator lighting without opening the refrigerated drawers.
The drawers are lined with an antibacterial coating to reduce germs. If you’ve been catching your meals on the run and your fridge is in the proverbial “bare” state, you can combine what you have into one drawer and turn off the power in the other drawers. On/off and temperature control can all be achieved through the electronic interface on top of the Oceania.
But each drawer is designed with specific functions in mind. The top drawer has a lazy susan tray, which is great for storing food in jars.
As mentioned, the bottom drawer is cooled by water passing from the main pipes through ceramic insulation; this makes the drawer most suitable for fresh fruits and vegetables because the temperature will be a tad higher than that required for container or cooked foods. This section is the most eco-friendly, because is uses no electricity. Additionally, the water remains clean and can be used for other household purposes.
The second drawer from the bottom is outfitted with both a small freezer and a wine storage unit!
The largest section, the second drawer from the top, holds liquid containers and can be a catch-all for other foods, as it is the largest compartment in the fridge.
If and when the Oceania materializes, and we hope it does, it may cost more than today’s refrigerators, but it will probably pay for itself in energy savings and the health of our families and the environment.