NASHVILLE, TN — MagneTek, Inc., has received U.S. and European patents covering a digital regulator that the company says is capable of reducing home appliance energy consumption by as much as 15%.

Developed and produced in Italy by MagneTek’s Power Electronics Group, the device will first be used in Electrolux refrigerators manufactured in Europe beginning this June. The regulator optimizes power input to the refrigerator’s compressor motor, thereby saving energy and reducing electricity costs.

The company estimates that the device will pay for itself in less than a year of operation at average electricity rates in Europe. It can be modified for operation in appliances anywhere in the world.

According to Averaldo Farri, sales and marketing director of the Power Electronics Group, the digital regulator can be used with compressors in appliances, air conditioners, and heating equipment of all kinds. Worldwide, some 10 million motor-driven compressors are produced for these applications each year. The share of this market targeted by the company amounts to $45 million to $50 million annually.

Initially, the digital regulator will be available exclusively as a component in new equipment manufactured by MagneTek customers.