When camping outdoors, you don’t have the luxury of powered refrigeration technology. Storing food for eating later seems to be a myth since there are a plenty of fleas and other forever-hungry little things out to destroy it. Plus the temperature around serves us no good as well in our pursuit of the preservation of leftover, but essential food. This new powerless refrigerator could be a solution for camping outdoors or if you have frequent power breakdowns in your country. There are countless portable refrigerators available in the market, but most of them focus on keeping the cold inside with insulation and minimum exposure. This Powerless refrigerator, on the other hand, uses evaporative technology to keep things cool and prevent them from spoiling.
The idea was presented in Biomimicry Global Design Competition in Canada that challenges students and researchers around the world to develop products that are inspired by nature itself. This small team from the University of Calgary came up with this idea and aims to help around 1.3 billion people that are deprived of reliable electric supply in the world. For them refrigeration isn’t just a way to preserve favorite foods from spoiling, it is a matter of survival itself since they cannot afford food to get spoiled due to limited resources. The electricity-free design drew heavy inspiration from mammals who can store water and keep it cool for long periods of time so that they can use it later on when it is scarce. Elephants and camels are some of the great animals that come in our mind.
The refrigerator was named Windchill and uses simplest of heat transfer technology to keep things cool. Warm air passes through an underground pipe that precools air before delivering it to a wet coiled copper pipe present in an evaporation chamber. Now that the water is inside, it begins to cool down due to evaporative action through the moisture on the pipe. The cooled air then eventually let inside the cooling compartment of the refrigerator. Eatables can remain fresh for a considerable amount of time as the temperature can be kept as low as 40 Fahrenheit. It is the highest temperature needed for keeping things cool.
The design won them the first prize in the global biomimicry competition, and it is hoped that they will eventually be abe to manufacture it in bulk and supply to power-stricken areas of the world.