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Coca-Cola's new vending machines shift power use for cooling purposes from daytime to nighttime

17 Comments

Coca-Cola (Japan) Co Ltd has unveiled new innovative energy-saving vending machines. The machines shift the use of power for cooling from the general daytime "peak demand period" to nighttime, when relatively less strain is placed on power supply.

In summer, these machines can provide cooled products for 16 hours while reducing daytime power consumption by 95%. Power consumption is also reduced in winter by 20% compared to current vending machines and, combined with power consumed for cooling, these vending machines are a global forerunner that can reduce power consumption by 68%.

In the first year of peak shift vending machines’ introduction from January to December 2013, Coca-Cola said that more than 10 billion yen in related investment will be made and that 25,000 units will be installed nationwide.

"Peak shift vending machines" are a world-pioneering, innovative new type of vending machine jointly developed by Coca-Cola Japan and Fuji Electric. In line for full-scale introduction onto the market and in addition to experiments conducted in research laboratories, field testing was conducted over two months from July 2012. Results verified that if cooling was conducted at night, when there is relatively little power consumption, and turned off during the day, then cold products could be sold for a maximum of 16 hours, reducing daytime power consumption by 95%.

Tomoya Otani, Director of Vending Strategy & Solution Development, Franchise Operations & Commercial Leadership, said: "The history of vending machines at Coca-Cola Japan is a history of revolutionary innovation. With the three features of being quiet during the daytime, being able to dispense cool products for a maximum of 16 hours even when the compressor has been switched off, and greatly reducing power consumption throughout the year, these peak shift vending machines are set to completely change how people think about vending machines. These revolutionary vending machines can be seen as creating new history."

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17 Comments
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Cut their power use 100% by not having them. Convenience stores have proliferated in Japan, and I for one never use vending machines anymore.

In retail stores, human workers can monitor and ensure that only the stock needed is being refrigerated at a given time. Vending machines aren't that smart, and they refrigerate all stock constantly, wasting our energy.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Has anyone else noticed that drinks are neither as hot or cold respectively as they used to be in the stores and in the vending machines.

All the drinks are getting closer to ambient temperature.

At this rate, in 10 years, everything will be served lukewarm

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree with JeffLee. In densely convini populated areas, why have vending machines? More than usual there are vending machines right next to the convini. The prices are the same so asking people to spend an extra minute or so out of their life to go inside the convini and purchase their drink wont kill them. The next step is getting them to turn off their engines will they are browsing magazines and what not inside the convini.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why is this news AGAIN??

And it's actually a horrible thing for Hokkaido, where peak power is at night, in the middle of winter.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

And by seeking to exist completely, particularly when immediately outside a convenience store, then they would reduce power consumption by 100%! But I guess if you MUST have them, these are better than the alternative.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Vending machines are a fact of life in Japan, so why is the energy saving technology mentioned in this article such a bad thing?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

During the summer when vending machines are supplying cold drinks they use more power than during the winter when supplying hot drinks.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This won't make a DAMN bit of difference to consumers if the cost per drink is the same.

These revolutionary vending machines can be seen as creating new history

I wouldn't exactly call firing up the power at night vs. during the day a revolutionary advance in technology.

Now, if they could revolutionize production somehow so the cost to consumers is ten yen a can instead of a hundred fifty yen, then that would be revolutionary.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How can ANYBODY complain about this? Most of the people commenting here have demanded in the past that vending machines should be turned off in the daytime to save power. Coca-Cola develop a machine that saves daytime use by 95% and it's still not good enough for you! I really wonder wjhy half of you even bother to stay in Japan. and...JeffLee, seriously, vending machine were a way of life in Japan long before you got here and will still be here long after you have gone.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And most likely these machines would be manufactured during the daytime. Wonder what the electrical cost to manufacture one vs. the power savings during its lifetime compare at.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Great innovation. Nevermind the nay-sayers. If you don't like vending machines, fine, don't use them. But here, a smart company is responding to market changes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

David Van CleefNov. 22, 2012 - 12:57PM JST

And most likely these machines would be manufactured during the daytime. Wonder what the electrical cost to manufacture one vs. the power savings during its lifetime compare at.

Not great actually, especially if they use lead acid batteries that have to be replaced every year after that. Since the machines still remove the same amount of heat (well, you can include the heat of the battery as well for the new ones, though it shouldn't be that high) the efficiency should actually be lower since charging batteries is awfully inefficient. All these machines do is shift the time of energy use to nighttime to make electricity cheaper. The math probably won't add up even that way and the machines will cost more overall per year even with the cheaper electricity.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It's been thirty years when they professed that oil would run out in 10 ~ 20 years, it hasn't run out. It's there way of sticking it out on us.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you don't like vending machines, fine, don't use them.

It's more than that. They're also eyesores, especially when you see them at places like temples or forested areas, which is horribly common throughout Japan. You'll often find their waste, ie, rusty cans, wrappers tossed around their vicinity, as few municipal authorities in Japan install litter bins in public areas.

These machines serve a marketing function, a kind of billboard that projects the corporate brand in your face and is placed everywhere amongst us, whether we like it or not.

So there you have it: energy sucking billboards. Sorry, they're much more of a social ill than a convenience.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

NinohNov. 23, 2012 - 05:20AM JST

It's been thirty years when they professed that oil would run out in 10 ~ 20 years, it hasn't run out. It's there way of sticking it out on us.

Well, nuclear energy cut demand by a good deal, and fuel efficient cars and price increases another 30% or so. Add in unprofitable sources like tar sands and pipes to protected wildlife areas and you have your 50 year estimate that was around twenty years ago.

Unlike oil though, vending machines don't really give you anything, not even convenience or good prices. All they do is take up space and energy.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Coca Cola is a damn good company. Koodos to them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Theresident

I really wonder wjhy half of you even bother to stay in Japan.

Good point. I'm going to leave Japan because I don't like vending machines. LOL

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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