# THE HOT FRIDGE

by , 08/31/05

This made the rounds on the blogosphere a couple of days ago, but in case you missed it, the Hot Fridge is an experimental refrigerator design by RCA student Hae-jin Kim, which makes use of the heat waste released from the refrigerator cooling process. Most normal (ie inefficient) refrigerators release heat out the back while they cool items inside.

In the ingenious little Hot Fridge, the condenser is placed at the top, allowing you to both cool and heat food at the same time. The designer suggests that one can warm plates, warm-up leftovers, or simply keep hot food hot on top of the Hot Fridge. What I wonder is: could this be turned into a mini stove top? Could this eventually evolve into a 2-for-1 refrigerator/stove? Will someone (ahem, GE) please hire this designer pronto?

I want to be able to buy this at Sears next year!

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1. April 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm

…couldn’t you just put the food behind the refrigerator? Or run a tube from the exhaust vent to under a wire mesh that you then place food on?

Also, you would need the fridge to be incredibly cold to actually cook on it. Cold enough that it wouldn’t really be useful for refrigerating food. But it would be interesting to have a stove that heats food by simply relocating heat instead of actually generating it.

2. July 21, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Bryan, how exaclty could I use the condensation end as a water heater? Could you give me some more explanations? Thanks, carolina

3. August 31, 2005 at 6:42 pm

Hot plate not exactly plausable.

Refridgeration setup:
Compressor -> Condenser -> Expansion -> Evaporator -> start

Ok, there’s maths involved here, but I’ll lay it down real simple: The difference in extremes of temperature between the condenser and evaporator are controlled by two factors: the gas used and the amount of compression used.

No gas is available to make that plate get any hotter than about 150 degrees; At least, not without making the fridge into a freezer. Meanwhile, the temperature of air blowing into the inside of the unit would vary wildly from slightly above near-freezing, all the way down to freezing alcohol. In other words, using it as a controlled heat source renders it useless as an ice box.

Meanwhile, there’s no reason you couldn’t use the condensation end as a pre-heat feed into your water heater (or, in addition to an ice/cold water dispenser on the fridge’s front, have a hot water dispenser) making use of the waste heat as needed, and leaving control in the hands of the fridge’s internal needs.