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Published on January 8th, 2009 | by Ariel Schwartz


College Student Invents Affordable Solar-Powered Fridge

January 8th, 2009 by  


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.

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