Intelligent fridges

- It is estimated that networked fridges will be widely used by 2015. How do consumers feel about such fridges that monitor product use, create shopping lists and arrange deliveries online? A recent survey involving 4600 shoppers in 8 countries shows that in the UK, although 52% of those surveyed predict that this technology will be widely used within 7 years, only 25% of respondents find the concept appealing and only 10%say they'd like to use a networked fridge. However, in China and Spain, shoppers are far less reluctant to embrace a future governed by fridges: 52% of Chinese and 45% of Spanish respondents are highly attracted to networked fridge technology. - The Economist, in an article entitled Fridges of the World Unite! Describes how energy-smart appliances could save energy. The US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has completed the first residential trial of its "Grid Friendly Appliance" controller — a small device that listens to the AC frequency hum of the electricity supplied by the grid. When there is too much demand on the grid, the hum goes flat and the device shuts off the appliance for 2 minutes. Following the initial trial involving 150 households, PNNL is to conduct a broader trial involving 1000 households. RLtec, a UK firm, is exploring another energy-saving avenue: it has developed software called Dynamic Demand that is fitted to appliances in order to manage fluctuations in power demand and supply. Research has demonstrated that millions of appliances fitted with this device could improve the stability of the electricity grid and facilitate the deployment of variable-output renewable energy sources such as solar or wind poser. The technology could save up to 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in the UK and save GBP 80 million in energy-balancing costs.,