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V-Tex could be the "microwave cooler" that you wish existed

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October 29, 2013

The planned home version of the V-Tex

The planned home version of the V-Tex

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Chances are, this has happened to you at least once ... you come inside on a hot day, open the fridge, and discover that you haven't set aside any juice/beer/pop to chill. Even if you were to put some in the freezer, it would still be at least 10 or 15 minutes before it was good and cold. "Why isn't there something like a microwave cooler?" you find yourself wondering. Well, there soon could be, in the form of the V-Tex – although it will incorporate vortexes instead of microwaves.

The technology is being developed by a consortium of companies, via the European Union-funded RapidCool project.

Prototype V-Tex machines are already capable of cooling a bottled or canned beverage from room temperature down to 4ºC (39ºF) in 45 seconds or less. They do so by immersing the drink container within chilled water, then spinning it to create what's known as a Rankine vortex within the bottle – this allows the beverage to chill quickly, without turning to slush and without fizzing over when opened.

That process alone still doesn't mix the tepid and chilled parts of the drink very effectively, however, as centrifugal force keeps the coldest liquid up against the sides of the bottle. In order to mix things up better, it's necessary to repeatedly build up a vortex, collapse it, and then build another. This is done by alternately spinning the bottle on one of two axes.

The planned commercial model of the V-Tex
The planned commercial model of the V-Tex

Plans call for both large commercial-use V-Tex machines and smaller home models to be manufactured. While they may sound like an indulgence, they're actually designed to save energy. In a store, for instance, drinks could be kept at room temperature, with consumers just V-Texing individual bottles that they wished to consume right away. According to RapidCool, "Results show energy savings of over 80 percent compared with some standard open front drinks chillers and a 54 percent saving compared with glass door coolers (figures based on cooling 200 x 500-ml cans per day)."

RapidCool has reportedly "entered formal agreements with two global, multi-billion euro companies in the fields of beverage distribution," and plans to begin consumer trails of the technology in the Netherlands. If you just can't wait to get your hands on a home V-Tex, though, you can check out the Spin Chill – which attaches to the end of a power drill.

Source: V-Tex via The Awesomer

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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6 Comments

Do you put it into a collapsible bag part?

Or do you end up with a wet drink?

Craig Jennings
29th October, 2013 @ 06:10 pm PDT

Heat exchange, cool. Now if we take it one step further we can produce electricity while heat exchanging.

Patrick McGean
30th October, 2013 @ 09:57 am PDT

Cooper Cooler, a commercial product since the late 1990's. Patent number 5,505,054

Gregg Eshelman
31st October, 2013 @ 12:31 am PDT

Water is heaviest at about 42f (0c = 32f) so the cooler beverage will move to the center under centrifugal conditions.

I keep a tub of antifreeze in the deep freezer for quickly cooling beverages.

Slowburn
31st October, 2013 @ 12:46 am PDT

@Patrick

Since this system (including the drink) has a net heat transfer to its surroundings, work must be put into it to make it function. It is impossible to produce useful power with such a device.

Pyrak
31st October, 2013 @ 10:17 am PDT

Have you ever wanted to buy a cold beverage that was not in the cooler? This will allow a much larger range of choice and save energy. Perhaps it can be fine-tuned to allow for personalized temps. For these reasons I predict this will be everywhere in a decade.

Don Duncan
31st October, 2013 @ 11:19 am PDT
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