Refrigeration without electricity

Over 23% of food in developing countries spoils due to lack of refrigeration before making it to market, which is no surprise in rural locations with intermittent access to electricity.

What if there was a sustainable way to produce refrigeration without electricity or moving parts? A solar thermal adsorption refrigeration system is capable of this, using a cycle of desorption of methanol from activated carbon under solar heat to produce liquid methanol, which then evaporates overnight producing cooling. This project aimed to design, build and test such a system in a controlled environment using solar heat lamps, with the overall intention being to optimise performance and cost. This robust technology shows potential for long-term application in developing countries, where it could provide a large social benefit to remote communities. Testing has shown promise, with future scope for investigation into the scalability and bulk manufacture of this system.

Future energy and resources


Mechanical Engineering

Thomas De Heus
Elias George
Alexander Teicher

vote for this project: FE86

Back to project list