Manufacturers of bottle coolers have been warned that many types of cooler will not comply with the European Energy Related Products (ErP) directive.
Research group RD&T believes that without modification most coolers would fail to meet the standards relating to temperature and energy required by the ErP.
RD&T director Judith Evans said: “It seems almost certain that the test standard used for assessment will be EN23953. However, we have found that bottle coolers rarely operate well when tested to the EN23953 test specification unless modified, for several reasons. First, the cabinets have to be loaded with test packs that are made of a cellulose gel.
The bricks form a solid mass which can block air flow, unlike bottles that allow air to flow freely around them. Therefore bottle coolers often cannot maintain the required temperature levels.”
In addition, as the test packs are made of a solid gel, they don’t experience the thermal currents generated in liquids that help even out differences in temperature.
“This means temperature variations within a bottle cooler may be greater in the EN23953 test than they would be with bottles and cannot always operate within the temperature classification tolerances of an EN23953 test.”
The final problem is that bottle coolers are not always designed for energy efficiency, because they need to reduce the temperature of drinks rapidly, so energy consumption is often too high for the ErP specification.
The solution is to make modifications to the coolers. RD&T has achieved reductions in maximum temperature of 2.6 deg C in a modified cooler, it said.
Ms Evans added: “We think manufacturers should be concerned, as almost all bottle coolers we have tested have one of these issues.”