Mini-fridges, commonly filled with beer and the occasional moldering sandwich, have become a ubiquitous fixture in college dorm rooms and office break areas. But for some reason they never seem to cool their contents as well as their full-size cousins in the kitchen. This paper, based on a series of blog entries, presents a light-hearted look at the problem and offers a solution. In doing so, it demonstrates some practical thermal analysis methods and proves that thermal simulation can help engineers design better products for consumers.

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