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Old 15-02-2009, 07:03   #1
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$25 Fridge Powered By Cooking Fire

Here's a promising development we all could use aboard:

Story link: $25 Fridge Powered By Cooking Fire | EcoGeek - Clean Technology

Video from TED forum: Cool idea video

Wikipedia entry: Icy Ball - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 15-02-2009, 07:38   #2
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I'm not seeing this one. You build a decent sized fire and heat this deal up, wait an hour to create a very small fridge that lasts 24 hours. In places like Haiti they cook on wood fires (charcoal is better) for the most part. The island is virtually deforested and they don''t use these devices. Wood based cooking is not sustainable in large populated areas. Charcoal based cooking uses less fuel at the point of consumption but Charcoal making isn't all that Eco friendly. The efficiency of it all is even worse. People devote a large amount of time to cooking with wood or other materials in open fires. Adding another 30 minutes worth for a small fridge does not seem to be headed any place.

Wood based refrigeration isn't much of a boost for the 3rd world. The perception that large volumes of combustible materials will supply vast amounts of energy seems a bit silly. We know where that methodology of thinking is headed. There are more energy efficient methods of storing food without refrigeration even if this method of refrigeration is more efficient than 100 year old technology. This is a case where the problem isn't that the no believes the technology works but more the issue that it actually does.
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Old 15-02-2009, 08:22   #3
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With all due respect Paul

Maybe they already have a fire....like it or not, they do use fire for cooking.

Perhaps there are other ways of heating it...exhaust manifold, hot springs, one of those solar reflector things that have a focused beam.........

I think it’s a cool idea.
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Old 15-02-2009, 10:03   #4
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Quote:
Maybe they already have a fire....like it or not, they do use fire for cooking.
It presumes the fire is burning far more than required to complete the cooking job. If you haul fuel you on a regular basis you tend to know exactly how much is required and don't waste much.

Quote:
Perhaps there are other ways of heating it...exhaust manifold, hot springs, one of those solar reflector things that have a focused beam.........
people with exhaust manifolds don't tend to cook on wood. Hot springs might actually work well but they don't occur in many places and then when they do you sort of have to live there.

As for reflectors they might work but it also presumes they have a lot of the things required. So at $25 for the device plus the box you need to have and the reflector this low cost alternative isn't really low cost at all. You might be up to $50. That is serious money to people that cook with wood.

As for being boating related I'm not sure where it actually fits in. Engine heat isn't very much at least I hope it isn't on our boat. I'm mostly hoping for about 180 degrees or a bit less. If I can run the engine I can make more electrical power than I can use.
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Old 15-02-2009, 10:24   #5
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I just returned from a week in the Philippines.
Took a sea plane from Manila to Subic bay.
I saw lots of small brush type fires burning all over the place.
The pilot said they were clearing brush and farm land.
This is definitely a destructive practice, but none the less wide spread.
I am no expert by any means...but it sure seams that having a simple way to generate cold with heat can be useful.
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Old 15-02-2009, 12:17   #6
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The burning of the Amazon rain forest in Brazil contributes more to global warming than driving cars in the US. Do we realy want this type of refrigeration?
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Old 15-02-2009, 22:48   #7
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I'm completely perplexed by these type of responses, and the lack of any positive ones.
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Old 15-02-2009, 22:58   #8
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I remeber the old kero fridges. I can't see why that the fridges would need necessarily enormous amount of firewood to keep them cool, providing the combustion was efficient and well focused. I also don't think a bit of reflective foil as used in chip packets couldn't beused to do some solar focusing instead quite cheaply. More efficient stoves and more use of solar ovens would do a lot for reducing the need for burning firewood and the time needed for collecting
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Old 16-02-2009, 03:26   #9
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Most of the world lives in the city and not in the better part of town. The supply of spare combustable fuel isn't increasing in any urban area where these people live. If this technology has any value at all it sure won't be there. Finding a reason to consume more energy from a scarce source as inefficiently as possible for something they don't really need just isn't about helping people.
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Old 16-02-2009, 04:51   #10
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It requires heat...not a fire...Come on Paul
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Old 16-02-2009, 06:43   #11
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Quote:
It requires heat...not a fire
How much?
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Old 16-02-2009, 07:19   #12
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I don't know....its not clear to me what the solution inside is and I'm having some trouble getting more info.
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Old 16-02-2009, 08:25   #13
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The Intermittent Absorption Refrigerator will cool a 3 gallon container, which is less than half a cubic foot. A really neat idea, but perhaps useless on a boat.

1 gallon = 0.1337 cubic feet = 231 cubic inches
3 gallons = 0.4011 cubic feet = 693 cubic inches
1 cubic foot = 7.481 gallons
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Old 16-02-2009, 08:42   #14
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Third world thought processing

My 2 cents.

Looks to me like it waste heat from a cooking fire. Not a dedicated fire.

The people who could best use it have been living without it all their lives and might find the idea cumbersome. Once they got used to the idea, they might find it something they would adapt their lives to.

Vaccines on the other hand, are handeled by people who could use the help.

We tend to think in ways that would be... limiting.

My wife is from a small place in Indonesia. Now I don't want you to think it's a village with grass skirts and all. But it's primitive in that, most of the houses don't have a refridgerator. They buy a TV first. Cell phones, got'em. But a reefer, not so high on the list. They live on fresh food. But I gave up eating fish there. Always smelled a little..... dead.

My mother in law got her first refrigerator a few months ago. The house wiring is lacking, so they plug and unplug it as needed to allow for other things to work. I could see this being a help.

Before we married, I gave the family a basket of food as a gift during one of the holidays there. Don't remember which holiday. I had someone from my field office call a local store and put something together and deliver it. There were canned good in the basket. I had no idea that they had never needed or owned a can opener. That's where my thinking fell short.
So I bought one for them. When I got back to the states I was sharing the story with my mother, who had even more trouble getting the picture. She said, "well, at least they got a nice new ELECTRIC can opener out of the deal". I had to go back and explain that, no, they did not go from zero can opener to electric can opener. They have never used the MANUAL can opener since.

I don't know if I'm getting this across or not. But we have a tendency to think too far ahead.

My wife is currently stuck in Indonesia. Thanks State Department. Visa problems. But I have had her with me for years at a time. When she is with me, when the laundry needs doing, she sticks it in one machine to wash it and another one to dry it. I recently spent about 5 weeks with her in Bali and Singapore. We stayed in hotels and when we needed laundry done, it was just convienient to wash it in the bathtub (her idea). After all the time we have been together, it NEVER occured to me that every bit of clothing that she or anyone in her family ever wore was HAND WASHED. I had to laugh at myself. Then I thought about the possibility of getting machines in the house. NOT. Remember the house wiring? It's tiny gauge stuff. Not just small circut breakers or fuses. When I spoke with her about it, she said that she prefered hand washing for the benifit of the clothes, but liked the convienience of beating the heck out of clothes in the machine.

So, as far as this thread goes, It an interesting idea, not particularly related to making my life on the boat any better. But we do like to have go-rounds with reefer ideas every now and again.

As far as the tone of the thread (to some degree), No need to belittle the original post. We are an international community. We are are NOT third world thinkers. We try to mingle there. In my case, I can see that my thought processes have been... limiting.
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Old 16-02-2009, 09:02   #15
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Hear, hear, let's hear a cheer for Minggat's wisdom. We (the missionaries in my group) try to find and use "Appropriate Technology" to assist the people groups with which we work. It's hard to see things from their point of view but our high tech ways won't work!
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