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03.05.2007 Technology

Technician Develops ‘Fridge Timer’ In Kumasi

A Kumasi-based electronics technician at the Suame Magazine, Mr Kwame Adjei Manu, has developed an electronic device which is capable of reducing by half the electricity consumption of refrigerators used domestically.

Known as the “Fridge Timer”, the device, when connected, enables the fridge to automatically cut off electricity consumption at a prescribed time, the way a thermostat maintains a desired set point temperature in a system.

The “Fridge Timer” has been designed to automatically switch off and on electric power to the fridge at an interval of four hours, helping to save about 50 per cent of the energy consumption.

Samples of the device have already been given to the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) for trials and testing.

Mr Manu, who is also the Managing Director of Amec Electronics at the Suame Magazine, told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi that research had proved that fridges were the highest consumers of domestic electricity supply because they were constantly switched on.

He said most people did not bother to switch off their fridges, saying they were only switched off when there was a power outage.

He added that research also indicated that when a refrigerator was switched on for about four hours, the set point temperature amassed in it could be maintained for the next four hours while the fridge was switched off.

“Hence I decided to manufacture a device which would switch on and off the fridge at a four-hour interval to help save electricity consumption domestically,” he explained.

Mr Manu said the device was developed after a two-year intensive research work by him.

He noted that majority of people in Ghana used second-hand fridges, most of which were faulty and had their thermostats not working at all, explaining that the “Fridge Timer” would, therefore, help to reduce the energy consumption of fridge owners and save them a lot of money.

A thermostat is a device for regulating the temperature in an electrical appliance.

Mr Manu explained that the “Fridge Timer” allowed the fridge to cut off energy automatically for four hours before it re-started power consumption, adding that “at the end of the day, energy consumption of the fridges is reduced by 50 per cent, without reducing the temperature in the fridge”.

He said the device would not only help Ghanaians to conserve energy but also reduce energy cost paid by consumers to the Electricity Company of Ghana.

“In these days of rising energy prices and the energy crisis, people should be interested in seeing how their thermostats work but, unfortunately, most of the second-hand refrigerators being imported into the country today have their thermostats not functioning,” he said.

Mr Manu also said his company had developed a DC-AC invertor/charger device which served as an alternative source of power supply during power outages.

He said the device could be used by energy consuming appliances in the home for a period of 12 hours without electric power and appealed to Ghanaians to accept the devices in order to reduce energy consumption and electricity bills.

Story by Enoch Darfah Frimpong