Living in a country, where 29.5 percent of its citizens live under the line of poverty, affording a refrigerator could be difficult, especially in the rural areas with lack of electricity supplies buying a fridge would make no sense. So what would be a solution to this problem, a refrigerator that is affordable and runs without energy?
A man named Mansukhbhai Prajapati, who lives in rural India, a country with problems very similar to ours has found a solution to this problem. The Mitticool refrigerator, which is made out of natural clay, runs without any electricity and solely on the concept of evaporation.
In a report, the UN Food and Agricultural organization has mentioned that most of the losses occurring in harvested vegetables and fruits are due to the lack of refrigerated storage facilities. Keeping a refrigerator can be very costly to run and maintain, in fact, it is the most energy consuming appliance in any household. Mitticool offer a solution to these issues and helps provide easy storage and cheap transportation of harvested goods.
Figure 1 - Clay refrigerator cooling method (Courtesy: Peter Rinker)
This clay refrigerator uses the concept 'Evaporation Causes Cooling Effect' as shown in Figure - 1, with a water tank on top and bottom of the fridge with a capacity to contain 20L of water. The water slowly drips down the sides, slowly evaporating letting heat escape from the surface eventually cooling the inside of the fridge. The mitticool refrigerator is said to maintain its temperature 8oC below its surrounding temperatures.
(Source: News PermaCulture | GIAN)
Figure 2 - Clay fridge temperatures compared to conventional refrigerators
Mitticool is a brilliant approach towards sustainability and innovation. Keeping food preserved is the largest consumer of electricity, responsible for 20% energy consumption across the globe. A large scale use of this product could definitely help reduce energy consumption.
(Source: Fast Company)
Figure 3 - A Mitticool Commercial Unit