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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

The Tip Of the Iceberg

Author: Guest Writer/Friday, October 19, 2012/Categories: Uncategorized

By Bob Ward

Refrigeration is so basic to our everyday lives that we hardly think about
it. But keeping food cool accounts for a big chunk of most families’ power bills, and refrigeration accounts for 14 percent of a typical U.S. home’s electricity use.

Fortunately, new motors exist that can run a refrigerator 80 percent more efficiently than traditional motors, especially when coupled with a controller to run a fan at different speeds, depending on need.

A new company in Glenwood Springs, Colo., aims to revolutionize commercial refrigeration. Meet brothers Juan and Ryan Grobler of Fridgewize, a pair of friendly, rugby-playing South African entrepreneurs.

[Brothers Ryan (left) and Juan Grobler of Fridgewize aim to save customers money and reduce their carbon footprint.]

“We provide our clients with a free energy audit [of their refrigeration systems] and give them a proposal that shows what they’re using today and what they’d be using with our equipment,” said Juan.

Fridgewize clients include Wendy’s, Jamba Juice, Whole Foods Market and Aspen Skiing Co., which recently hired the company to retrofit outdated systems at various lodging properties and restaurants. “There’s no question about the validity of the savings,” said the Aspen Ski Company's Sustainability Director Matt Hamilton.

[Juan Grobler describes the energy savings of dual-speed fan motors at the Fridgewize training facility.]

Any outfit with refrigeration needs — hospitals, universities, breweries, morgues, prisons — stands to benefit from the new, efficient motors. The Groblers have spent two and a half years fine-tuning their products, and think they’ve tapped about 2 percent of the potential market.

We surmise Whole Foods and Pizza Hut are just the tip of the iceberg for these guys.

- Bob Ward is the former editor of the Aspen Times.


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