Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has presented ‘Peak Shift’ vending machines with the Energy Conservation Grand Prize which save energy by shifting power used to cool beverages from day (when energy demand is highest) to night. Thinking behind the innovative ‘Peak Shift’ vending machines was the desire to contribute to the energy situation in Japan following the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck in 2011.
Since demand for electricity generally peaks in the daytime, this new peak-shift type of vending machine uses electricity for refrigeration during the nighttime, when electricity demand is comparatively low, thereby significantly reducing power consumption during the day. Refrigeration is performed entirely during the night and then maintained through a highly advanced insulation technology that employs vacuum insulation materials, as well as a thermal-storage technology that enables efficient electricity usage in the daytime. This allows the vending machine to provide cold beverages for an entire day without consuming any electricity for refrigeration during that peak energy-demand time.