Monday 13 May 2013 – Refrigeration without electricity

WOW! Amazing and so simple! Refrigeration without electricity… The sociocultural implications for this is of high benefit to those in requirement of basic needs such as fresh food. The domino effects of this alters the sociocultural practcies of communities. Where extended time was spent on moving produce quickly at discounted and often below minimum rates, time can now be spent on activities that are more productive, education, innovation, promoting and discovering self, etc… SS.
Mohammed Bah Abba
Country: Nigeria
Region of Impact: Nigeria

Project Overview:
Mobah Rural Horizons, is a Rural Development and Consulting Organization that designs, invents, and disseminates appropriate technologies for poor rural areas. The project is a fresh foods preservation system that uses two clay pots. This system requires no electricity supply to preserve and prolong the storage life of perishable fresh food items.

Problem Addressed:
For people who live in hot climates with little electricity, food spoils quickly. Produce spoils in within three days without refrigeration, forcing farmers to rush their crops to the market and sell them at undervalued prices. This has a lot of consequences to the farmers, and their families, because it affects their village life and leads a decrease in income in the poor rural areas. For Kano City, which is around 60 miles from many farmers, the fresh produce that is grown rots along the way, causing its farmers to earn smaller profits and provide for fewer people.

Refrigeration is a method for storing foods around the world, but places in Africa like Kano City do not have the resources to support a stable supply of electricity to make refrigerators a viable option.

Technology Solution:
Mohammed Bah Abba designed an elegantly simple food storage device that is made up of two earthenware pots which utilize the principles of evaporation to create electric-free refrigeration. In between the two pots is a layer of fine, wet, river sand, and on top is a moist jute bag. When kept in a dry, well-ventilated, and shady location, water evaporates, cooling the inner container. As a result, Mohammed’s desert refrigerator allows produce to stay fresh for weeks, so less food is wasted, and farmers are able to increase their profits so that they can continue to provide for their communities. Mohammed sells around 30,000 coolers a year to farmers and other people who want to preserve food for their families and communities.

About The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum—located in the Capital of Silicon Valley —is a non-profit, experiential learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing applied technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge presented by Cisco, our annual team-design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, The Tech Museum endeavors to inspire the innovator in everyone.

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