An Affordable refrigerator using clay and solar energy

A refrigerator that uses solar energy combined with the traditional cooling mechanism of clay water matkas (pots) would be a cool idea. And now it seems it may have been accomplished within cost that even rural inhabitants of a developing country may be able to afford. I just read about this innovation from rural India in the newspapers. According to the Hindu Business Online,

“[t]he brown, rectangular refrigerator has an inlet for water, which is circulated in the system through internal piping. The refrigerator has a tap from which chilled drinking water flows out. Mansukh Prajapati, who put together the contraption, says, “What I have devised is `Mitticool – a village fridge’. It is a refrigerator made from special clay with three or more chambers for cooling water and storing fruits and vegetables.”

I am still looking up more technical details to see how the mechanism actually works, and will share as they become more available. Coming from a hot country where electricity is rather expensive an unreliable, I think this may be a remarkable innovation. Mitticool = Clay cool.

Several such innovations are being featured in a multi-part series on Discovery Channel titled “Beyond Tomorrow“. See a review of some technologies featured in the series here. Some Indian innovations mentioned in the list include a pedal operated washing machine, the clay-solar refrigerator, Micro windmill mobile charger, an amphibious bicycle, a tree climber etc…

AHMEDABAD – October 13: Indian inventor Mansukhbhai Prajapati poses with his ‘Mitticool Village Fridge’ at a stall at a craft fair here on Friday. The fridge, in which vegetables can remain fresh for five days and milk for two days, is made from clay and requires no electricity to operate. It runs on solar power. It takes eight days to make a fridge which is priced from 2,000 Indian rupees.—AFP

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27 Responses to An Affordable refrigerator using clay and solar energy

  1. ayesha says:

    Absolutely ingenious!

  2. joshi says:

    it seems useful for storage of fruits and vegetables.but how they are harvesting solar power?how is refrigeration achieved?also whixh refrigerant is used?
    I am also curious about clay-pot structure.No doubt it’s heat sintered porous silica,but is it economical to make on higher scale?
    i think it needs rigourous technical evaluation.Selection of materials may improve its workability.The finishing is nice enough.Looks elegent.I would like to have technical details also to meet this innovator.

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  4. […] of the day: Low-tech Refrigerator, Pakistan style I have written here about a pretty cool low cost clay+solar refrigerator invention by an Indian. It was indeed […]

  5. illajsa says:

    En España es tradicional el botijo, (http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botijo) aunque se cree que en Egipto ya se utilizaba en las piramides para congelar, utilizando agua y el aire extremadamente seco del desierto, el cual entraba a gran velocidad de la parte norte subcionado por una chimenea central!!!!!

  6. J. V. Adavi says:

    Can I get the Mitticool clay pot refrigerator in Belgaum, Karnataka?

  7. jignesh trivedi says:

    Let me have contact details of Mr. Mansukhbhai Prajapati of ahmedabad who have invented this refrigerator

  8. This is a great post.I’ve learn some useful informations that I could implement them later on.

  9. lavina says:

    this sounds really useful. keen to learn more about it can i get some more info on the clay fridge and also the contact details of mr.mansukhbhai

  10. Nupur Jain says:

    This is really amazing….its the need of hour..It would be really great if i can get more details…and where i can see it and purchase it..

  11. […] Una nevera de arcilla que usa energia solar, una lavadora a pedales, son algunos de los inventos de la India rural. La Honey Bee Network, National Innovation Foundation y alguna otra son agencias que empoderan a los inventores locales para que fluya el conocimiento. Muy al estilo de las recomendaciones que daba David el otro día. Mi pregunta es si seremos capaces de innovar en este sentido desde Europa. # ver más minipost […]

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  13. collins says:

    is a nice idea but the steps were not given

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