Underground Refrigeration and Freezing


With an uncertain economy and all the worry about carbon emissions, there has been a resurgence into alternative ways of heating, cooling, building, etc... All with a focus on lowering costs and carbon emissions. Storing food underground is an ancient practice, dating back at least to 400 B.C. prior to the 1900’s almost all food was stored in some sort of cellar or ice house. The biggest advantage of underground storage is the relatively stable temperature of soil throughout the year. The actual soil temperature does depend on location, the climate, and time of year, but on average, soil is around 45-52 degrees Fahrenheit all year just a few meters beneath the surface. The reason for this stable temperature is the immense thermal mass of the earth requires a great deal of energy to change its temperature. From this point, it takes very little energy to cool an underground room to appropriate refrigeration temperatures. There are a couple different methods employed in further cooling the cellar. These different methods and the physics of them will be the focus of this site. Also, the possibility of attaining freezing temperatures will be explored.


Why store food underground?