Retailers and restaurants waste a ton of energy on refrigeration to keep beverages frosty cold for customers. This energy expense is so great that the European Union funded a project called “Rapidcool” to develop a method that quickly ices liquids. Their efforts resulted in V-Tex technology which can chill a bottle or can to 39 degrees from room temperature in under 45 seconds.
Rapidcool estimates that commercial refrigerators and freezers suck as much as 85 TWh of energy each year—this is enough to power 20 million residences. Their V-Tex Compact and V-Tex Commercial models provide energy efficient alternatives for both the marketplace and home. Using 80-percent less energy than big and continuously running refrigerators, the V-Tex reduces the temperature of liquids without sacrificing carbonation, or watering down the product.
To cool a bottle or can, the device rotates the container to create a Rankine vortex. This agitates the contents enough to preserve bubbles when subjected to freezing temperatures. A stop-and-start rotational sequence around twin axes allows the vortex to be created, collapsed, and recreated multiple times during the process. The V-Tex Commercial, which is designed for retail markets, takes advantage of a six-can buffer to further improve cooling rates to ice a drink in as little as ten seconds.
V-Tex has yet to become available for sale, but with the potential to save over $1,100 per replaced refrigerator there certainly will be a demand for the technology. The home version may be somewhat redundant to anyone who already owns a domestic refrigerator, but those who are light on patience will enjoy its ability to produce a cold drink on demand.