Groundfridge – a fridge that works without electricity

Posted on 16 December 2015.

Groundfridge is an underground refrigerator that keeps food cool without electricity. An ingenious solution to reducing energy consumption (and the electricity bill!).

It looks a bit like the sort of bunker survivalists preparing for the worst would design. In fact it is a refrigerator, a modern version of a root cellar, in preparation not for the Apocalypse but for a more sustainable future. A future in which more and more of the world’s citizens will lead a self-sufficient and environmentally friendly lifestyle by living in passive (and even positive energy) houses and cultivating their own small vegetable gardens.

Unveiled in 2015 at the Milan Furniture Fair by the Dutch design firm Weltevree, Groundfridge is the fridge of the future. Producing cold uses a lot of energy, especially as a refrigerator is plugged in 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. A combined 290 liter class A fridge consumes about 350 kWh per year ! Groundfridge consumes nothing. This laminated polyester prefabricated refrigerator, buried underground, is completely autonomous. It uses the insulating properties of the soil and the cooling capacity of groundwater to keep food cool, maintaining a constant temperature of between 10 and 12°C throughout the year. Ideal for keeping fruit, vegetables, wine and even some cheeses. According to Weltevree, the Groundfridge’s 3000 liter capacity is equivalent to 20 standard fridges and can store 500 kg of food or the harvest from a 250 m2 vegetable garden. Enough to prepare 350 meals for a family of five!

Groundfridge is accessed by a small hatch and a narrow staircase that leads to the large fruit, vegetable and cheese pantry. Cover the top of it with grass and whenever get a tomato you’ll feel like you’re going into your very own Hobbit house.