MIT Scientists Are Developing A Device That Is Literally So Cool That It Doesn’t Need Any Power At All

Considering the lack of resources people face in off-grid locations, scientists are developing a cooling device that won’t need any power source and can help store food and medicine in remote locations. Removed from the hustle-bustle of cities, the people in such places often face harsh conditions where storing any spoilable item is highly unlikely. Because of such scenario, people often suffer from malnutrition and diseases which can be avoided if they could preserve basic necessities.  

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The cooling system is designed in such a way that it allows the emission of heat at a mid-infrared range of light. It can then pass out through the atmosphere and then radiate into the cold of outer space. The MIT scientists, including one from India, have designed two versions of the design, both using a small metal strip to block the sun’s direct rays. 

For example, Boston in the United States experiencing a temperature of 28-degree Celcius and in a place like that, the device can provide cooling as much as 20-degrees below the ambient temperature. In the initial proof-of-concept test, they have attained a cooling of 6-degree Celcius. "We built the setup and did outdoors experiments on an MIT rooftop. It was done using very simple materials and clearly showed the effectiveness of the system," Bikram Bhatia, a research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, said.

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Previous attempts to manufacture such passive cooling devices have created some successful products but they are not available for domestic use and are also very expensive. The current model developed by the MIT researchers is an amazing step forward from the other models as it is comparatively cheaper and easy to access. One of the challenges that the scientists are working on is the humidity in the atmosphere that can block some of the infrared emissions but it is expected to perform well in dry and arid areas. “While most research on radiative cooling has focused on larger systems that might be applied to cooling entire rooms or buildings, this approach is more localized," said Evelyn Wang, a professor at MIT.

Residents of remote communities often describe their experience as a life in the ‘middle of nowhere’ and when they’re saying that, they’re not kidding. No matter how casually they adopt it, the struggles often take fatal turns. This invention will not only help them with better nourishment, medical facility, and storage but will also help them with a capsule of life-aid that they can access despite the harsh environment. 

 


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