Refrigerators use a lot of power, but there are ways to keep food cool without electricity. The ice boxes of yesteryear were just that, boxes full of ice, and there was also the Icyball, a gas-absoprtion refrigerator sold in the early 1930s.
These devices had their flaws, of course, but now a potter based in Gujarat, India hopes to advance the state of energy-free refrigeration. According to Inhabitat, Mansukhbhai Raghavbhai Prajapati builds his MittiCool refrigerators for people in rural areas can’t afford electric ones, or perhaps don’t have access to an outlet.
The MittiCool is made from clay and uses water evaporation to keep its contents chilled. Water from the upper chamber drips down the side, and eliminates heat as it evaporates. It can be used for drinking; there’s a tap on one end of the chamber.
The food-storage compartment has two shelves. The top one is for fruit and vegetables, which can last up to a week, while the bottom one is for milk, which can stay for up to three days.
With no moving parts, the MittiCool is virtually maintenance free and, of course, power outages aren’t a concern.