The classic refrigerator is one of the most power-hungry appliances in the home. Phononic is hoping to change that with a new solid-state refrigerator that is more reliable, greener and quieter than most modern refrigerators. It could just be the future of refrigeration.
Many computers and accessories have stared using solid state drives because they are less susceptible to shock in addition to being faster, smaller and quieter than standard hard drives. So Phononic decided to apply that same technology to appliances – most notably, refrigeration. Most refrigerators rely on compressors to release refrigerant into the guts of the fridge to keep everything cool inside. Besides the fact that refrigerant is toxic, it’s not super efficient. So Phononic replaced that bulky compressor with a compact thermoelectric semiconductor, taking advantage of the efficiency, size and quietness of solid state technology.
So what does this mean for refrigeration? Basically, a smaller footprint means that it could be used in the future for small storage like fridge drawers and shelves, on top of making standard-sized refrigerators more efficient and quieter. Right now, Phonic makes a medical-grade model and smaller model for home consumers, but who knows what else the future could hold for the technology.