Solar refrigerators are not something thatíll come into existence in the future and will be invented in the developed countries, for that matter. Solar refrigerators are already in existence and were developed in the developing countries where thereís always a shortage of power supply and excess of poverty. When one thinks of the word ďsolarĒ, photovoltaic modules and panels automatically come to mind, that converts the sunlight into electricity but that is not the case here. Solar refrigerators work on the evaporative cooling system. They just need sunlight and some water for their functioning. Solar panels in India are now being manufactured on a large scale. This has helped a lot in the popularity of solar refrigerators in India.
Solar refrigerators are an invention of necessity. In poverty stricken developing countries, where thereís no power and no money, usage of conventional refrigerators is out of the question. To start with, people canít afford to buy such refrigerators and secondly, they canít maintain such grid-power based refrigerators because of no regular supply of power. Thus, for such people an alternative was desperately required and that led to solar refrigerators. Solar refrigerators operate on the solar energy that cost not a single penny to the user. The main reason to build such refrigerators is to protect the perishable foods like meat and dairy items from getting spoiled as well as prevent the spoilage of the vaccines. These refrigerators are widely popular in many countries of Africa like Namibia and Zambia.
Solar refrigerators are very easy to make. They basically work on the principle of heat conduction and convection. There are two cylinders in solar refrigerators; the inner cylinder can be made of any recycled metal and it is placed inside the outside cylinder, which can be made of anything available in the household, like cardboard, plastic or wood. The outer cylinder must have holes on it, so that the sunlight can reach inside for its powering. The gap between the two cylinders is packed with organic material, either sand or wool and it is then saturated with water. The perishable items are kept inside the inner cylinder and then the whole set up is placed in direct sunlight. The heat of the sun evaporates the water in the organic material. This heat, in effect pulls the heat from the inner chamber and that leads to the cooling and reduction in temperature up to 6 degrees C.
In the present age, conventional refrigerators prove to be very harmful for the environment. The chlorofluorocarbons present in the refrigerators contribute to global warming and ozone depletion. Using solar energy to power the solar refrigerators, aids in minimizing the destructive impacts of conventional refrigerators on the environment. Hence, solar refrigerators are not only an economical solution to the problems of billions of people but itís also, one of the ways to safeguard the mother earth from complete destruction. Solar refrigerators can help us to protect the nature, so that even the future generations are able to see what we can see right now. Itís in our hands to create a better future and the first step towards it can be the usage of solar refrigerators.