Summer is finally here for most of us in the Northern hemisphere. Jackets go safely in storage, and we all start dreaming of that beach holiday and cocktails. Unfortunately, summer is not so pleasant when we are stuck inside behind a desk, with a non-working air-conditioning system. In this moment, suddenly, all these daydreams disappear, and the anticipated season becomes something that no one wants.
Now, if this is a problem for us sitting in our comfortable offices, imagine how people in a bit less fortunate places must feel- like in Bangladesh for example. The temperatures and humidity during the summer months over there can be hard to bare, while air conditioning is not really an option for the majority.
But as one smart person has said once, where there is a will, there is a way. A creative inventor from Bangladesh designed a new type of air conditioning system called the Eco Cooler. One that does not require electricity, and it is made of the world’s most common waste item- plastic bottles.
The Eco Cooler is super simple to build – no prior engineering or construction skills are required. The size of the system depends on the size of the windows in a room, as to mount it, a window should be removed and replaced by it.
So, a regular board should be cut in the size of the window. A grid of bottle-neck sized holes should then be cut onto the board. Then, the funnel-shaped bottlenecks, cut from the plastic bottles, should be fit into the holes. The next step is to fit the design onto the window frame with the wider side facing outwards. And this is it.
The Eco Cooler then works by capturing the winds and sending them inside the building. It can reduce the temperature of a room by as much as 5 degrees Celsius- a difference that can be quite significant when looking at comfortable 25 degrees C versus sweaty 30 degrees C.
The idea of the inventor, Ashis Paul, was to show his great product to as many people as possible, and help them build one themselves. For this purpose, he received help from the Grey Group, a multinational advertising firm, who volunteered to advertise the Eco Cooler for free. Another group of volunteers, this time from the Grameen Intel Social Business, provided free assistance to local people, helped them build and install the units, as well as thought them how to make them themselves.
Yes, the Eco Cooler is not the super high-tech air conditioning system, but it is one that can make a big difference.
Image (c) Grey Bangladesh