Evaporative cooling is one of the oldest technique used by our ancestor to keep food items cool, using same technique a social start-up Evaptainers a refrigerator that works without electricity.
The traditional method uses two terracotta pots having a layer of wet sand between them which keeps the internal pot cool as the water evaporates and draws heat away from it and hence keeps the vegetables cool.
Food Production and Food preservation is the major challenge faced by the developing countries to ensure food security for rapidly growing population, many African and Asian countries are facing hurdles in preserving raw materials before bringing it into the market.
The high cost and limited access to electricity is major hurdle for the farmers to buy refrigerator, Evaptainers helps the low-income group in solving this problem by offering low cost, electricity-free refrigerator.
Quang Truong, a grad student at MIT decided to develop something that could change the lives of a billion people, he partnered with Spencer Taylor in his ambitious project.
Evaptainers has soft inner food-storage chamber, soft rubberized tub and semi-permeable outer layer that keeps out water, Water between the two layer separated by half-inch space between keeps container cool.
It system requires six liters of water to work and keeps food cold and fresh for 12 hours. It’s reportedly able to hold 60 liters of produce, there are four layers in the system
- A lid to hold water that saturates evaporative material
- Inner container to hold food/vegetables and which will dissipate heat into evaporative layer
- Hydrophobic evaporative layer to promote cooling process.
- The perforated outer layer to expose evaporative material.
Evaptainers currently undergoing trial of 500 units in Morocco where average income is $100 a month and 30% to 35% of food produced rots before it reaches the end consumer.
The start-up received good response in Morocco where people are using the system to preserve fruits and perishable vegetables like tomatoes, leafy greens, Moroccan dates, olives and berries.
The social start-up has received positive response across the globe as it is sustainable and focuses on food security in less developed and developing countries, the start-up is now planning to extend the pilot project in India, Nigeria and other developing economies where farm to customer conversion rate is less.