Coke machines cut daytime juice

Kyodo

Coca-Cola (Japan) Co. says it and Fuji Electric Co. have developed a new vending machine that doesn’t need electricity for daytime refrigeration and can cut daytime power consumption by 95 percent.

Coca-Cola will initially install 25,000 of the “peak shift” vending machines across Japan next year, the beverage maker said Monday.

Coca-Cola began working on the new machine after last year’s quake and tsunami in the Tohoku region led to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear crisis and subsequent reactor shutdowns nationwide, causing power shortages.

After tests conducted last summer in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, and other cities known for severe heat, Coca-Cola confirmed the new vending machine can keep products chilled for up to 16 hours if its refrigeration function is suspended in the daytime.

The machine chills beverages at night when power demand is lower. Also, it takes a quarter of the time to lower the temperature of products than in regular vending machines because of improved insulation and air-tightness. Because the new vending machine can operate quietly for long periods, it is also suitable for such locations as hospitals and offices.

The power consumption necessary to keep beverages hot is also less than conventional machines, according to Coca-Cola.