Rapid on-demand cooling of drinks cans cuts costs for retailers

Trial will begin next month of a technology that rapidly cools drinks offering the potential to replace the need for refrigeration units in shops and catering outlets.

V-Tex is claimed to chill a can from room temperature to chilled in less than 45 seconds.

The technology developed by Enviro-Cool and patented as V-Tex, is claimed to chill a can from room temperature to chilled (5°C) in less than 45 seconds using a process based on the Rankine vortex.

According to the Carbon Trust, refrigeration is estimated to account for over 70% of the energy costs facing small retailers, and 50% of the costs facing an average supermarket. V-Tex is claimed to offer energy savings of over 80% compared to some standard open drinks refrigerators, based on the cost of chilling 200 x 500ml cans over the course of a single day.

The commercial product will begin trials in a Dutch supermarket next month. This will use a buffer to reduce the wait-time to less than 10 seconds.

Enviro-Cool was supported as part of a wider EU industry consortium which received a grant of €932,000 from the European Union to progress the technology to commercial development. The Rapidcool consortium estimate that the average saving on electricity costs equate to £700 per replaced fridge per year.

Kelvin Hall founder of Enviro-Cool said: “The development grant from the EU has enabled us to develop Rapidcool as a replacement to the existing expensive, high energy use equipment, such as multi deck open refrigerators and beverage merchandisers. We’re proud to be contributing to the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions by developing a game-changing green technology and look forward to continuing to develop the product for both commercial and domestic use. We have received considerable interest from Asia and North America and now want to make European manufacturers and distribution channels aware of this new technology.”

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