Thursday 09th February 2023
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Tamil Nadu Potter creates electricity free refrigerator

With the rising cost of electricity and fuel, felt by households in Europe and across the globe. Could this rustic yet practical invention help reduce the cost and help the planet?

M Sivasamy, a potter from the city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, India has invented a refrigerator that can function without electricity. He claims that his clay-pot refrigerator can keep vegetables fresh for days together.

M Sivasamy was born into a family of potters, and he has worked with clay for most of his life. He has been running his clay pot shop for the past 50 years. As you may have known, clay pots have the tendency to keep the water cooler than usual. Sivasamy used his knowledge of working with clay to build a refrigerator that can keep fruits, vegetables, milk, curd, and eggs from spoiling for up to 4 days.

At a time when chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have been subject to heavy criticism because of their climate change impact and when the world is running at an energy crisis, this refrigerator could be the game-changer… Especially for people in the rural areas of developing countries.

Sivasamy has made two variants of the fridge… One that is about 1.5 feet in length and the other that is about 2 feet in length. They are priced at INR 1700 and INR 1800 in that order.

It is wonderful to note that Sivasamy has sold more than 100 units so far!

Sivasamy has used the same principle as clay pot cooling. His refrigerator set up has two concentric cylindrical parts. The smaller pot houses the fruits and vegetables and is covered with a lid. The larger pot is filled with water and it has an outlet tap to drain the water. The little pores in the clay pot remove the heat, keeping it cooler than its surroundings, and that keeps the fruits and vegetables fresh and cool!

Sivasamy has a production capacity of about 10 units per month per his own claim. He also says that this refrigerator is specific and clay pots in general positively contribute to the health of people and the well-being of the environment.

Photo: the Hindu