Saturday, June 20, 2009

How Green is Your Refrigerator?

Going “Green” is massively politically correct. In fact Obama Motors will be producing greenie-mobiles, regardless of what the consumers really want. The idea of political correctness is intellectually indefensible in the first place, and in the second place it frequently goes against the laws of nature, not to mention logic and economics.

A beautiful case in point is the highly-hyped Sainsbury’s grocery store being built in Gloucester, UK. Amongst the standard environmental improvements being incorporated in the new store are a couple of knee-slappers.

First is the placing of kinetic-energy plates in the street to capture the energy of passing automobiles, which is then converted into electricity which will power cash registers. According to, the kinetic plates do not affect the gas mileage of the passing vehicles.

This is a completely bogus approach to energy “savings”. It is actually an energy theft from the autos, albeit at a very small rate per auto. But it is still a theft of energy, which then undergoes another lossy transformation from mechanical to electrical energy. It is like a bank stealing 3 cents from every customer, at thousands of customers, but losing 2 cents along the way to inefficiency. It is both intellectually and morally dishonest. And the ineffeciency inherent in the theft-conversion scheme results in a net increase in the overall usage of the hated fossil fuel that powers the automobiles and therefore an increase in pollution, etc.

But that’s not all, of course. The designers of the store also plan on ”retrieving cold air from refrigerators to keep the checkout area cool.” Every high school physics student knows that this will increase the energy bills, not decrease them.

Pulling cold air from the refrigerator will cause warm air to back-fill it, and cause the refrigerator to run full time attempting to keep its internal temperature low; this will shorten the life of the compression elements and will be inefficient energy-wise. Worse, it will likely result in spoiled food in the fridge, too, because of the room temperature air that is continually flowing into the refrigerator.

Heat pumps and air conditioning units are designed to do the job of cooling environmental air, and very efficiently these days, especially earth contact units. Using a refrigerator in the place of an air conditioner is, well, it is just ignorant. Politically correct, but extremely ignorant. Besides, it’s the UK, why would they need A/C anyway?

If equipment heat is the problem, then a simple fan exhaust system might do the job at a huge reduction in both installation cost and operating cost. What this job really needed was not PC “designers”, it needed a good engineer.


Mumberthrax said...

This is unrelated to your entry. Your website says to ask any question in the most recent post, so I am. I haven't read your entire blog, so forgive me if you have answered my questions elsewhere.

Do you believe that two homosexual individuals should be allowed to marry, and have the same rights entitled unto them as those which are entitled to a heterosexual married couple?

I would be interested in hearing your reasoning, either way.

Stan said...

Thanks for your question.

There is no rational reason not to allow the benefits of contractual marriage to whoever wants it.

As far as holy matrimony, this is a sacrament within the auspices of the church[1], a compact between a heterosexual couple and their deity, a union which is then recognized by the state as a marriage.

The church has the right to limit its sacraments; the state has a right to extend (or limit) its benefits. These entities should not interefere with each other, ever.

Under Christianity morality is not forced, it is influenced by example, by love, and by reason. Also it is presumed that the world contains immorality and evil and is not perfect as a sterile habitat. The struggle between morality and immorality is built into life itself, and is a personal struggle, not a state dictate.

[1]Church, meaning generic Christian church in this case.