Whirlpool has announced its next-generation insulation technology, SlimTech™, for refrigerators which will launch in 2024. This marks the first vacuum-insulated structure (VIS) technology in a refrigerator in the North American market. The use of SlimTech™, which uses a proprietary material vacuum-sealed within the door or sides of the refrigerator itself over traditional polyurethane foam for insulation, can reduce the wall thickness by up to two-thirds, allowing for up to 25% more capacity inside the refrigerator.
Other benefits of SlimTech™ include:
- Reduced thermal conductivity, allowing for up to 50% greater efficiency.
- Reduction of temperature swings from door openings which allows food to be kept fresh for longer.
- Customisation of refrigerator interiors.
- Quieter refrigeration owing to fewer compression cycles required to maintain cool temperatures.
According to Whirlpool, SlimTech™ will debut in 2024 on the doors of select JennAir® luxury 30 in. Slimtech™ Insulation Column refrigerators, before rolling out more broadly across KitchenAid refrigerators in the future. It’s uncertain yet how the technology will impact cost, though SAR predicts it will attract a premium until its use becomes more widespread throughout Whirlpool’s refrigerator range. The benefits of the use of the technology may also allow for more compact refrigerator designs or reduction of materials elsewhere in the design, which could help to offset the cost of implementation.
SAR Insight and Consulting sizes, forecasts and tracks the market for home appliances in its DATAportl platform which includes more than 150 end device markets. Almost 3 billion kitchen appliances are forecast to ship in total over the next five years. As with those from many other electronics markets, kitchen appliance manufacturers are under pressure to increase the energy efficiency of products, reduce waste and be more sustainable. Technology such as SlimTech™ that enables this alongside enhancing the consumer experience will be welcomed throughout the industry.
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