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Solar Energy fridge

Published on January 8th, 2009 | by Ariel Schwartz

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College Student Invents Affordable Solar-Powered Fridge



fridge

A British college student has invented a new type of solar-powered fridge that can be built entirely from household materials. According to 21 year old Emily Cummins, the fridge works with the help of evaporation.  The fridge stays at a comfortable 6° C without using any power, and can keep perishables cool for days.

Cummins’ fridge is made up of two cylinders, with one inside the other. The inner cylinder is made of metal, and the water-soaked outer cylinder can be made from wood or plastic. When placed in the sun, the sun heats the outer cylinder and water evaporates off. Heat is removed from the inner cylinder during the evaporation process, keeping the interior of the fridge cool.

Emily Cummins isn’t the first person to design a solar fridge, but the cheapness of her design makes it ideal for poor locales.

Photo Credit: Flickr user Nictalopen under a CC license

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • john

    incredible can someone send the details of the experiment

  • john

    incredible can someone send the details of the experiment

  • Uncle B

    Some supressed notions for fridges were solar powered, compressed gasses, working like ammonia fridges, but using concentrated solar heat during the day for fuel. Expensive to build, and technically complex, once built, have no moving parts and work as long as there is sun! Some similar ideas are found here!

    SEE:http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/adam_grosser_and_his_sustainable_fridge.html

    http://www.gomestic.com/Consumer-Information/Eco-Fridge-That-Uses-Zero-Electricity.285375

    http://www.geekologie.com/2008/08/zero_carbon_footprint_the_sola.php

  • Uncle B

    Some supressed notions for fridges were solar powered, compressed gasses, working like ammonia fridges, but using concentrated solar heat during the day for fuel. Expensive to build, and technically complex, once built, have no moving parts and work as long as there is sun! Some similar ideas are found here!

    SEE:http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/adam_grosser_and_his_sustainable_fridge.html

    http://www.gomestic.com/Consumer-Information/Eco-Fridge-That-Uses-Zero-Electricity.285375

    http://www.geekologie.com/2008/08/zero_carbon_footprint_the_sola.php

  • mazHur

    this is not new ,,,,ages old idea still found in ‘desert coolers’ and doubled walled thermoses filled with wet hay or rags and made from anything—used in Africa and Bangla Desh.

  • mazHur

    this is not new ,,,,ages old idea still found in ‘desert coolers’ and doubled walled thermoses filled with wet hay or rags and made from anything—used in Africa and Bangla Desh.

  • http://www.minkbaby.co.uk Ali Harris

    I’m sorry, I’m not sciencey at all, but surely the point here is that Emily has taken a simple design and put it to good use?

  • http://www.minkbaby.co.uk Ali Harris

    I’m sorry, I’m not sciencey at all, but surely the point here is that Emily has taken a simple design and put it to good use?

  • Josh Monroe

    Sounds like basic evaporative cooling to me. Here is a magic trick for anyone that thinks this is revolutionary…

    1. buy a 20oz bottle of soda and test it’s temperature

    2. put the bottle inside 2 wool socks

    3. dip the whole thing in water

    4. lay it out in a dry area (dry climate) to dry (re-wetting it every so offten

    5. after several hours, compare the temp of the soda to the starting temp

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporative_cooling#Evaporative_cooling

  • Josh Monroe

    Sounds like basic evaporative cooling to me. Here is a magic trick for anyone that thinks this is revolutionary…

    1. buy a 20oz bottle of soda and test it’s temperature

    2. put the bottle inside 2 wool socks

    3. dip the whole thing in water

    4. lay it out in a dry area (dry climate) to dry (re-wetting it every so offten

    5. after several hours, compare the temp of the soda to the starting temp

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporative_cooling#Evaporative_cooling

  • chrisp

    Sounds more like a keg party.

  • chrisp

    Sounds more like a keg party.

  • http://www.greenoptimistic.com Ovidiu

    recently there has been another news like this, it seems the idea is ages old: Click here

  • http://www.greenoptimistic.com Ovidiu

    recently there has been another news like this, it seems the idea is ages old: Click here

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