revolution has advanced several areas of
the automotive, power, and
Two refrigerators in the appliance category could change the face of
the green industry in the kitchen. One is a futuristic concept called
Robot Refrigerator, which would use gel to preserve food,
and the other, a complete product, is a solar-powered
refrigerator that stores vaccines in developing countries.
Bio Robot Refrigerator is an idea in its earliest stages
Design Lab competition semifinalist
Yuriy Dmitriev, and is supposed to be a zero-energy refrigerator
that uses a gel-like substance that is odor-free to preserve and cool
food. It is four times smaller than a traditional refrigerator, but
possesses maximized storage space and the absence of doors, which
"allows horizontal or vertical placement and displays food in
would make the Bio Robot Refrigerator zero-energy is that it
would not contain a motor, compressor or any other electrical
constituents. What would keep the food cool is a "green,
biopolymer gel that uses luminescence to preserve food." The
food item is pressed
into the gel, and the gel closes in around it suspending the item
in place. A "separate capsule" is created for each
additional piece of food that is placed into the gel.
design has raised some questions regarding how much weight the gel
can hold and how the gel can affect different foods in terms of
temperature and texture. But this concept is one of the first
contemporary redesigns of the traditional refrigerator since
freon-based models in the 1950's.
the gel concept contributes a zero-energy appliance, it is still a
ways off from becoming a realistic part of any household. On the
other hand, a solar-powered refrigerator provides both zero-energy
cooling and is currently saving the lives of those who "are
limited by a lack of available refrigeration for the storage
solar-powered refrigerator was developed by Appropriate
Technology Collaborative (ATC), which is a non-profit
organization that works to develop technologies to "improve the
lives of people in developing countries." ATC works to insure
that the systems they develop can be made by local engineers from
locally available materials.
ATC solar-powered vaccine refrigerator was made for certain parts of
the world that require vaccines but have no source of refrigeration
to keep them from spoiling. Due to this lack of refrigeration, more
than half of the vaccines go bad before they're even administered,
which leads to the death of millions of lives and the loss of
billions of dollars.
refrigerator requires no electricity and contains no valves or moving
parts, making maintenance an easy task. The inexpensive design
provides cold storage for vaccines
in developing countries, depending solely on sunlight to make it
freeze. According to the ATC, the "ATC Solar Vaccine
Refrigerator is a robust, easy to maintain technology that can be
made in the country or region where it is to be used" and "is
made out of simple materials that can be found in most cities like
steel, charcoal and ethanol or methanol."
ATC Solar Vaccine Refrigerator has been entered in the NASA
Tech Briefs Create The Future Contest.