Along the lines of one laptop per child comes the idea of an inexpensive refrigerator that could help more than a billion people who have no access to electricity. Lack of access to refrigeration is a problem for people in underdeveloped countries; without refrigeration, itâ€™s hard to prevent the spread of food borne disease, and itâ€™s impossible to store vaccines.
Tech venture capitalist Adam Grosser, working with a thermodynamics team from Stanford, may have a solution. The prototype zero-emission fridge doesn't need gas, propane or kerosene and is powered by regular fire.
The eight pound device looks like a thermos and contains a (nontoxic) refrigerant fluid. It can be heated on a cooking fire â€“ the kind fueled by the likes of wood or camel dung. After being heated on the fire, the device is set aside to cool for an hour. At that point it begins to grow cold, and it is inserted into an insulated container of some sort â€“ a jug, or even a hole in the ground. It gets colder and colder, bringing the temperature of the container to just above freezing, and keeping it that way for about 24 hours.
The low pressure, non-toxic refrigerator is also fairly affordable. At low volumes, Grosser estimates each unit will cost $40. At high volumes, the price for each will drop to $25. Esquire Magazine just named the fridge one of the best and brightest ideas of 2008. Refrigeration for the masses is now closer to reality.
Via Esquire, TED
written by Tom, December 12, 2008
written by EcoInsomniac, December 12, 2008
written by Robert Witham, December 12, 2008
written by Tyler W. Cox, December 13, 2008
written by Rdys, December 18, 2008
written by James Hinds, March 27, 2009
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