eCube: Energy Savings in Commercial Refrigeration

How Refrigeration Works


Refrigeration units work in a series of cycles. This is when the unit starts and stops to maintain the required storage temperature. Air cycles (on/off) typically produce a minimum of 12 cycles per hour and, in some open display cases, 20 cycles per hour.

Refrigeration units usually monitor circulating air temperature in order to decide when to switch on and off. However, circulating air temperature tends to rise quickly, far more quickly than food temperature and, as a result, refrigeration works harder than necessary to maintain stored products at the right temperature. This in turn leads to excessive electricity consumption and undue wear and tear on the equipment.

How the eCube Works

The eCube consists of a food stimulant contained in a double-skinned enclosure. The food simulant mimics food temperature at around 10mm below the surface. It is like having your thermostat regulating the temperature by the temperature of the yogurt, instead of the air temperature. Due to its specific design, the eCube ensures that refrigeration keeps food at the correct temperature.

When fitted to the thermostat sensor, which controls the compressor, the eCube significantly reduces the frequency of the refrigeration cycles as they are now based on food temperature rather than fluctuating air temperature.

By using the eCube as a cycle control mechanism, refrigeration cycles last longer but can be reduced by as much as 80%.

For example, a Dairy Case air cycles 3 minutes on, 2 minutes off = 12 cycles per hour. With an eCube fitted, the cycles change to 8 minutes on, 7 minutes off = 4 cycles per hour. This equates to a 66.7% reduction in starts.

As the start-up of a refrigerator compressor uses 3 times more power (i.e. start-up 12 amps, run 4 amps) considerable energy savings are achieved. In addition, the more efficient refrigeration cycle leads to a more efficient unit, which then leads to a colder storage area. Consequently, by re-adjusting the thermostat back to its normal temperature settings, there are further substantial energy savings, without compromising food safety and quality.

Here are just some of the reasons to retrofit your refrigeration system with an eCube:

Significant energy savings (reduced electricity bills and Demand Charges/Climate Change Levy Charges)
Reduced wear and tear on equipment, leading to extended life of equipment
Fewer sensor failures (as sensors are protected inside the eCube);
Reduced environmental pollution;
Considerable noise reduction
Fewer breakdowns
Safer food and less product spoilage
One-time retrofit product requiring no further attention or maintenance once fitted
Lower temperatures achieved without heat induced defrost cycles

Look at Some of The Results:

Burger King

Coca-Cola Glass Door Fridge
KWh without: 45.41
KWh with: 36.02
Energy Saving: 20.66%


Open Fronted Multi Deck
KWh without: 214.8
KWh with: 193.4
Energy Saving: 10%
Trialed for Woolworths with permission/co-operation from Coke


Porka Walk-In Freezer
KWh without: 155.93
KWh with: 129.22
Energy Saving: 17.12%


Fosters Under Counter Bench Fridge
KWh without: 35.37
KWh with: 20.46
Energy Saving: 42.15%

Holiday Inn

Fosters PMC4 Salad Bar
KWh without: 145.5
KWh with: 80.93
Energy Saving: 44.38%


Upright Double Door Fridge
KWh without: 35.37
KWh with: 29.08
Energy Saving: 17.78%