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Question
I work in a pizza place and at times of the year it is too hot to leave the dough racks out at room temperature. I couldn't find any walk-in cooler specs for the type of cooler we use, but I sometimes wonder how much it might cost to maybe add 25% more space in the cooler as that when preparing dough it remains cool so it doesn't get too proofed too soon. Would that be energy efficient to have 2 warm bodies staying in the cooler for an hour or more versus the door opening and closing often?

Answer
The depends on how many times the door opens and closes, and how much air.  However, you are correct that that is potentially a massive waste of energy.  I think there are too many specifics here for me to reliably answer the question, since I don't know anything about the nature of the convection of air involved in that particular door.  You'd really have to test it and see.

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Education/Credentials
Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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