Power-Free Fridge: Underground Geothermal Food Cooling

ground naturally cooling refridgerator

A new twist on an ancient technique, this subterranean refrigerator takes advantage of cooler subsurface temperatures to let you store fruits, vegetables, cheese, wine and other goods right in (or rather: below) your own backyard.

ground under geothermal cooling

Floris Schoonderbeek of Dutch design company Weltevree crated the Ground Fridge to showcase at Milan Design Week, illustrating the power of simple insulation to store foods self-sufficiently at a stable temperature year round (around 50 degrees F).

ground earth root cellar

The rounded volume is placed under excavated soil, about three feet deep, with an above-ground entry for access. Needing no plumbing or electricity, the structure is generally exempt from building permit requirements so anyone can install one with relative ease. The catch: there are still many things that will spoil in this setup, so you may need to be selective about what you keep in this system, or simply try to eliminate things from your simplified lifestyle that won’t work within it.

ground fridge cooling design

“The Groundfridge is an innovative take on the traditional root cellar. It meets the requirements of people with their own vegetable garden, who choose to live in a modern and self-sustaining way. Floris Schoonderbeek (founder of Weltevree) is continuously discovering and exploring new angles, chances and materials that he puts to good use in improving and enriching our habitat. With the Groundfridge, he presents a means for new world citizens who want to handle their food in an autonomous, independent way.”

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See more in Energy & Power or under Science. June, 2015.
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