Refrigerators are a massive drain on our power grids because our modern world needs them to function. Without refrigeration our food networks wouldn’t be viable nor would we be able to stay cool indoors during heatwaves. Thanks to some very bright people we now have a fridge that won’t need energy to work.
The invention, dubbed WindChill, took first place in the student category in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, aimed at finding solutions borrowed from nature to improve the global food system.
“We thought it would be good to decrease the amount of food waste in the world, and we came up with this design because it’s easy to build and the materials are relatively cheap,” said team member Michelle Zhou.
The design borrows the burrowing and the fanning techniques employed by some animals, siphoning in air (think elephants ears) that is then cooled by tubes which partially run underground (think digging termites). This helps provide cheap, cold air for food refrigeration.