Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Zeer pot refrigeration

I stumbled over an interesting refrigeration method today that I'd heard of before, but didn't have a name for: Zeer pot refrigeration.

This is basically an evaporative cooler for food and drinks. Two unglazed clay pots, a layer of sand, some water - and a dry climate. Cover with a wet cloth, add more water to the sand every 12 hours, and your food stays cool. It helps to raise the pots on some sort of stand so air can get around the bottom of the outer pot.

I will definitely try this out, though I'm not going to expect much in Georgia with the higher humidity. This would be a nice little zero power cooler for eggs, cheese, butter, and veggies, and perhaps some processed meats like sausage that are preserved to death.

Update Aug 11, 2011: I just found this video that shows how to do this, and results.


17 comments:

tffnguy said...

Would probably help to keep it in the shade to.

Abby said...

I was thinking indoors. I suppose you could run a little 12v fan on it to help the evap process?

Nick Cooper said...

I seen one like that , but it was in the ground... do you think that might work under the house?

Abby said...

A heavily insulated box under the house might work.. this pot thing depends on the slow evaporation of the water to the outside of the clay pot. It would be interesting to try some of this stuff in a side by side comparison.

Further reading:
http://www.ediblegeography.com/the-anti-fridge/
and
http://littlebloginthebigwoods.blogspot.com/2007/03/no-refrigerator-for-30-years.html

Be sure to read through the comments, too!

Zev said...

That looks like a great place to store drinks at a picnic.

http://swordsintoplows.blogspot.com

Abby said...

Zev, I've read that it keeps your beer cold ;)

For you math and science geeks out there, more formulas than you can shake a stick at:
http://www.appropedia.org/Zeer_pot_refrigeration_(design)

frann said...

Cold beer in July down here...hope to try this!

Nick Cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Cooper said...

Ok I commented that I liked the solar light on the blog and then I went to norhtern tool and got to see it up close. Its a little small and all black with 5 LEDs in in. its ok but not quite what I was looking for in a dinning light. maybe it would be good over and outside table for lighting. What I did find there that I liked was the solar air vent which can run on solar alone ( daytime) or battery power. for 45 bucks.

I ended up getting a 72 LED light bar with switch for $10 bucks. Its red and runs off of 4 rechargable AA batts. puts out enough light for over a kitchen sink.

Abby said...

Nick, I like the hanging light just fine for ambient light, which is about all the light I ever want in my house. And yes, it would be a really good outdoor light. I'm thinking about painting it silver or white.

Those solar vents are a good concept, but I'm going to go with a Maxxair RV roof vent/fan that has a thermostat. Haven't seen a solar vent yet that has a thermostat or even an on/off switch, and you can't close them. Good for attics and greenhouses, I think, but I wouldn't get one for my little cabin.

Red light over the kitchen sink?

Nick Cooper said...

is the max air a solar powered vent with t-stat? if so where u get it?

the body of the light is red. the leds are whitish.

Abby said...

Not solar powered, but it is 12V... so ... sort of solar powered! :) Amazon.com has them and so do most RV stores. I'm looking at the one with a built-in hood so it can be left open all the time and rain would not get in.

tffnguy said...

Abby, If you go with one of those vents I'd make sure its screened in so flying critters can't get in when its off. There is a hell of a bee problem down here and bees are always getting in here even with the doors and windows closed. I don't have a clue how they get in either.

As for the over the sink lighting I personally don't think you could beat the ones like I got from AutoZone. I have one about 6 feet above the computer here and at night it lights up a black keyboard with faded white letters on the keys and I have no problem at all using it. Should be plenty bright for washing dishes and being able to swivel them sure helps to. Not bad getting 2 for 20 bucks.

Nick Cooper said...

I was on you tube last night and was going through greenpower science videos, Im almost sold on parabolic cooking. what do u think?

Abby said...

Nick, if you're doing the cooking, I'm all for it :)

jicky said...

Oh my gosh, Abby. I made one of those Zeer coolers and will be using it when I get to the desert.

suriya said...

gorgeous!!!
This turned out SO good! I really like the Zeer pot Refrigeration idea, very clever.

Commercial Refrigeration