23 Year Old Invents Solar-Power Fridge Being Used In Africa.


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23 year old Emily Cummins has invented a solar-powered fridge currently being used in Africa. It uses zero electricity to keep the contents at 43 degrees. Isn’t it amazing what some people do?

The solar-powered fridge, which she designed while still a schoolgirl, is now helping families in Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

It works through evaporation and can be used to keep perishable goods such as milk and meat cool for days.

Without using any power, temperatures stay at around 6C.

via Daily Mail

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  1. Indigenous people have stored food like this for eons, using their own pottery as the two containers, with wet sand between. I read this a long time ago, so don’t have a link to it.

  2. There seems to be a lot of sustainable efforts coming out of Africa lately. My company just secured a client to do their branding, web development and design that’s based out of South Africa. Does anyone know why so many are coming out of this continent? It seems like an odd place for it to be happening. Just a thought.

  3. It’t because they don’t focus on design obsolescence and they want to give them just what they can afford and no more so when the market opens up with stability, THEN we can send in the electric facecloths.

  4. In response to Dan and Nan, there is some evidence that evaporative cooling was used as early as the Old Kingdom of Egypt, around 2500 B.C.but the technique of using evaporative cooling with clay pots for food preservation was re-discovered by Mohammed Bah Abba,a Nigerian teacher, in 1995. He passed his ideas onto us, Practical Action, for development in Sudan. We in turn worked with the University of Al Fashir to run experiments on the zeer to measure its ability to maintain food’s nutrient content and extend its shelf life. We then trained local women how to make the cooler so they can earn a living and it has proved very successful. For more information you can go to http://practicalaction.org/food-production/zeerpots

  5. Cody, what do you mean “Does anyone know why so many are coming out of this continent? It seems like an odd place for it to be happening.”

    Are you surprised because you don’t think there’s enough brains and bright mind to make things happen in Africa? Or are you saying that because of the high levels of poverty on the motherland?

    Either, another food for thought is: where do all (or most) of the natural resources used to make technologies people of the “developed” world use? How many African kids now go to study abroad and bring that knowledge back home?

    A lot of sustainability effort is about living within means, using what we got to produce what we need (not want). Waste in Africa is not a possibility. Every resource counts. And many sust. efforts are basically inspired from old practices that came from Africa, Asia or the Americas.

    I do not pretend to have all the answer and half of this creations and innovations are probably connected with someone coming from the US or Europe (whether they are themselves American, Europeans or from any other African and other world countries).

  6. Nothing new here. I think my grandparents had a cooling box a bit like this. And I’m not claiming they invented it! People have kept water cool in big clay pots for ages. It is an old tradition that hasn’t been lost, never needed to be re-invented. Also: you’d better not put the pot in the sun, as then evaporation will be faster, but that will be because the pot heats up in the sun!

    Why publish something like this story of a naive white girl ‘finding’ a flawed version of an ancient solution to a problem for far-away people in africa. It is rather insulting to africans, and doesn’t make us white people look too clever either. And now the poor 23 year old girl looks bad as well. There are many people with naive ideas .. that are better not all published.

    1. Yes, because her new updated version isn’t worth mentioning, isn’t more efficient, and looks exactly what has been used in Africa for 100 years. We should not have mentioned it here at all. Why would we want to get the word out about an updated, more efficient version of something old? The nerve of us!

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