Proving once again that the best ideas are often the simplest, 21-year-old student/inventor/entrepreneur Emily Cummins has designed a brilliant portable solar-powered refrigerator that works based upon the principle of evaporation. Employing a combination of conduction and convection, the refrigerator requires no electricity and can be made from commonly available materials like cardboard, sand, and recycled metal.
Emily Jayne Cummins (born 11 February 1987) is a student at Leeds University studying Management and Sustainability. Her inclination towards design and innovation started way back when she was four years old, when her granddad gave her a hammer. From then on, whenever she used to visit she spends hours with him. She was inspired as she saw her granddad taking scraps of materials and turning them in to toys for her and her cousins.
Her innovations include:
1. Toothpaste Dispenser.
2. Water Carrier.
3. Sustainable Refrigerator.
I must say, of all of them I was really impressed with the idea of refrigerator and the way it works. Simply amazing!!!
Simply place perishable foods or temperature-sensitive medications in the solar refrigerator’s interior metal chamber and seal it. In-between the inner and outer chamber, organic material like sand, wool or soil is then saturated with water. As the sun warms the organic material, water evaporates, reducing the temperature of the inner chamber to a cool, 6 degree Celsius for days at a time!
After winning £5,000 from York Merchant Adventurers for her idea, Emily delayed going to college for a year to take her refrigerator to Africa for further development. She made six versions during the initial phase of production and helped make more than 50 during the trip where locals in Namibia nicknamed her “The Fridge Lady“. The refrigerator has since rolled out in Zambia, Namibia and South Africa and Emily believes thousands more may be in use as the design passes from community to community through word-of-mouth.