Designed by Studio Floris Schoonderbeek, the Groundfridge refrigerated cellar uses the soil’s natural insulation as a cooling system for sustainable food and wine storage. It serves as an alternative to common refrigerated cellars that suck energy and result in high utility bills.
The Groundfridge requires no electricity, instead using natural insulation and a battery-powered ventilation system. A spherical structure is dug into the earth and covered with the excavated soil from the new location so that only the main opening is visible aboveground. The insulating capacity combines with the natural coldness of the ground, while the inhalation of cool air through the ventilation system makes for a constant cellar climate.
The interior section of the cellar is made of wood, while the covering layer of soil is about one meter thick. The battery-driven ventilator offers users the option of setting ventilation times throughout the day depending on specific temperature needs.
The temperature inside the Groundfridge will match the temperature of the ground at one meter below, but it can also be affected by factors like soil type, groundwater levels, sunlight exposure, mound vegetation and the outside temperature. Using the ventilator at night will reduce the interior temperature as cold night air is accessed; the company recommends venting the device at least one full hour every 24 hours.
For peak temperatures or areas with higher average temperatures, there is an additional active cooler (called the “Chiller”) that circulates and cools down the air inside the cellar, which can help keep the Groundfridge at a guaranteed and constant temperature for professional or food-grade use. The Chiller is an optional add-on to the original Groundfridge for an extra fee and can connect to solar panel charging.
Images via Groundfridge