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On Campus Comparison Of Energy Saving Technologies For Vending Machines

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Trends in Energy Conversion/Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.884.1 - 8.884.11



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Paper Authors

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Jeremy Poling

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Emily Blakemore

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Lee Greguske

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Glenn Wrate

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2233

On-Campus Comparison of Energy Saving Technologies for Vending Machines

Glenn Wrate, Emily Blakemore, Jeremy Poling, and Lee Greguske

Milwaukee School of Engineering/Wisconsin Focus on Energy


As part of the Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy Program, the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) investigated two possible technologies to save energy involving vending machines. MSOE is interested in this research for two reasons: involvement of our students in emerging technologies to save energy and to provide a service to our community. Two soda vending machines were installed in the student lounge of the Science Building, each equipped with a different energy-saving device. The first device tested was a Vending Miser™. This device detects motion outside the machine, and if no activity is sensed, this device turns off the vending machine after a compressor cycle is completed. If activity is sensed in front of the machine, or if the device calculates that the compressor should run to keep the soda cool, the vending machine is turned back on. The other technology tested uses electroluminescent (EL) panels in place of the traditional fluorescent lights. Surprisingly, lighting accounts for approximately half of the energy used by a typical soda vending machine. The results of this comparison were provided to Focus on Energy to determine if additional funding of either technology was warranted. The results were also published on a student-developed web page. Since the study was performed with students, in a high traffic area, this research was a wonderful vehicle to increase student interest in the energy efficiency area. This paper documents the two technologies, the students’ response to the different technology, the methods used to compare the technologies, and the development of the web page. In addition, suggestions for further work in the area are made, and lessons learned on this project are discussed. It was found that while the amount of energy saved is small for an individual machine, Wisconsin alone has over 75,000 of these machines, so the total energy savings can be substantial.


Genesis of Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy Program

Focus on Energy ( is a public-private partnership offering energy information and services to energy utility customers throughout Wisconsin. These services are delivered by a group of firms contracted by the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s Division of Energy. The goals of this program are to encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, enhance the environment, and ensure the future supply of energy for Wisconsin1 2. As part of this work, Focus on Energy does the testing of energy saving devices.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Poling, J., & Blakemore, E., & Greguske, L., & Wrate, G. (2003, June), On Campus Comparison Of Energy Saving Technologies For Vending Machines Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12094

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