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Right now it’s a nifty party trick, but retailers could save big time on energy costs.
You know those massive shelves of cold beverages you see at supermarkets and convenience stores? Have you ever thought about how inefficient they are? How much energy is required to keep the drinks cold? Suffice it to say, they’re wasteful, and store owners aren't exactly thrilled to receive their energy bills each month.
The ideal solution is an efficient beverage cooler that can be used by shoppers to chill their purchased beverages independently. Such a device would also appeal to liquor stores, where beer, champagne, and white wine are often stored at room temperature.
Enter, the Enviro-Cool V-Tex—a rapid-cooling device that can chill room-temperature soda cans to 41ºF in less than 45 seconds. The duration climbs to 4 minutes for 12 oz. glass bottles, and about 8 minutes for wine bottles.
The product, which has received funding from the European Union, is not likely to hit shelves until late next year, but it’s already turning plenty of heads—and for good reason. One reason is because the V-Tex is highly efficient—an amazing achievement considering the immense power consumed by most cooling devices, including wine coolers and mini-fridges.
LG’s Blast Chiller technology accomplishes a similar feat, but it requires a whole 5 minutes to chill a 12 oz. can of soda. Unlike the Blast Chiller, which rapidly circulates air from the freezer, the V-Tex bypasses the need for a condenser. Instead, it relies on a simple motor to create and recreate a collapsed vortex in the beverage. This allows carbonated drinks to mix and chill without getting fizzy.
Kelvin Hall, creator of the V-Tex, explained to Wired.co.uk thinking behind the impressive little machine:
"You go into a petrol station on a motorway and you've got three, four walls full of chillers with drinks and they're so energy inefficient, they're not really necessary, because those drinks don't need to be stored cold, it's just for convenience, so that was the original thinking behind it.”
V-Tex is developing versions of its technology for commercial retail as well as domestic use. While we imagine it might be some time before anything like this finds its way into the average American household, the idea of being able to quickly cool a dry storage beer or wine product at a liquor store is quite appealing.