Fridge innovations: Bicycle technology

A regular electricity supply is absolutely crucial for the proper operation of refrigerated equipment, but it is not necessarily easy to come by, especially in rural areas or in developing countries. In order to address the problem, the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE) has devised a bicycle-powered refrigerating unit called Myocooler. The device can bring the temperature down to a minimum of 8°C for a short duration with an outside temperature of 35°C, just by the action of someone pedalling at 16 km/h for 20 min! The temperature is kept for 3 hours after which 3-5 min. pedalling are only necessary to prolong cooling time. The appliance is useful for milk, fruits, vegetables, beverages, medicine, etc. and is particularly suited for small village communities. It costs about INR 11 000 now, but the price is likely to decrease.