- Sun Mar 21, 2004 10:33 pm
First, I am probably not telling you anything you don’t already know here, but for anyone not versed in the physics of fridges, cold air in fridges and freezers is heavier than the relatively warmer air in the surrounding room, so if the fridge is a vertical one with no door, under normal circumstances you will have a continuous current of cold air flowing out the bottom of the fridge and of warmer room air flowing into the fridge higher up to replace it. Whereas if your fridge is lying horizontal with no lid - many supermarket freezers are of this type at least in Australia - the cold air will simply sit in the fridge and you can perhaps get away with no lid. So if you crave a domestic fridge with no door, I suggest lying an ordinary fridge on its back and taking the door off. (You may need to adjust some of the cooling mechanism if it is not designed to work on its back and the shelving would need to be reorganised). I know of no physical process yet invented that could confine the cold air in a vertical fridge missing its door without some physical barrier, so such a process would need to be invented. But lying the thing on its back, or else designing a domestic fridge that opens at the top and has no lid, would at least contrain the cold air, providing you didn’t have eg a ceiling fan going. It’s either that or you are going to have to invent a new mechanism for constraining cold air without a physical barrier.
Then there is the problem of dust including fungal spores and bacteria, not to mention flies. These things might not be a problem for an open-top freezer because the temperature inside is below freezing so bacteria and fungi will be very slow growing and the extreme cold might deter all but the most determined flies. But for a domestic fridge you want to keep dust etc to a minimum because some fungi and bacteria will grow happily in food stored above zero. Dogs and cats certainly wouldn’t be deterred by cold air if there was a chicken there for the taking. And how would you keep little children out? Maybe a good old-fashioned door is not such a bad idea after all!
I do like Steve’s analogy - “I think this is like going out naked and having thermo-rays keeping you warm instead of clothes. Nobody would want it, the refrigerator contents are just too intimate.” It conjures up images of people going about naked except for wide-brimmed hats which have thermal heat generators radiating heat down onto their bodies. And I puzzle over what it is in Steve’s fridge that is so intimate - I’m not sure I want to know frankly - does he store sxx-aids in there, and keep them cold for some obscure reason (which I definitely don’t want to know about!). But I think Steve’s analogy is a good one - I doubt if the benefits of a doorless domestic fridge would outweigh the costs and the problems.