Hot on the heels of a device that cooled your drinks by spinning them in icy water comes news of a decidedly more high-tech version of apparently the same principle: it’s called the V-Tex. It’s a larger, more commercial appliance (still about the size of a small microwave) that takes any room temperature drink and chills it down to 5ºC (41ºF) in as little as 0.7 minutes. It does this by taking advantage of the vortex that is created in the liquid within the container as it spins, and by manipulating this container in different axes and speeds. By closely fine-tuning this action, the company has developed a machine which can be used at a point of sale, where the purchased drink is chilled as it is ordered, rather than wasting energy being refrigerated behind a long line of other cans or bottles.
Results show energy savings of over 80% compared with some standard open front drinks chillers and a 54% saving compared with glass door coolers (figures based on cooling 200 x 500ml cans per day). The potential saving on electricity costs equates to €832 per fridge per year compared with open front drinks chillers and €219 versus glass door coolers (assuming electricity price of 0.20 euro/kWh).
Using a buffer of up to 6 cans, wait time for a drink can be as short as 10 seconds, which makes the V-Tex usable in a higher volume bar environment. The machine also accepts wine bottles and other containers. The Rapidcool consortium, which makes the V-Tex, has entered into an agreement with two multi-billion dollar beverage companies for distribution and initial market testing in the Netherlands by the end of October. Domestic and commercial use devices are planned for later, though the timeline is not clear.