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Filter Fridge Competition Entry

Through the combination of gravity fed ceramic water purification and evaporative refrigeration, the design of a combined water filter and refrigerator is able to provide cooled potable water as well as provide space for refrigerating food items.This is especially suitable for a rural household.

.filter fridge

The Filter Fridge is a covered ceramic receptacle housing an internal metal receptacle. The outer receptacle cools due to evaporation of water. This in turn cools the internal receptacle containing food items and water. Water poured into the porous ceramic filter gets filtered and remains in the metal receptacle until consumption.

“Water is essential for all dimensions of life.  Over the past few decades, use of water has increased, and in many places water availability is falling to crisis levels. More than eighty countries, with forty percent of the world’s population, are already facing water shortages, while by year 2020 the world’s population will double…”(World Bank Institue, WATER POLICY REFORM PROGRAM  - Nov. 1999 available from http://jperret.tripod.com/water.html)

By incorporating the technology of the low cost ceramic water filter designed by the organization Potters for Peace, together with the effect of cooling caused by the evaporation of water, I have designed a unit which will provide cool water fit for human consumption as well as storage space for keeping food items cool. This design can be manufactured by the communities themselves, or at a mass production level. It is a simple yet effective design, which, although never been created or manufactured, should operate successfully due to the success of each of the separate technologies from which the design was inspired. These are:

.  the cooling action that takes place through the evaporation of water, and

.  the effective treatment of water to a quality fit for human consumption using a low cost gravity fed ceramic water filter. 

This filter is designed by the organization Potters for Peace, who assist in the worldwide manufacture of this type of filter.

Exploded view of Filter Fridge:

exploded view of filter fridge

It is visible through the partly opened lid that the internal metal receptacle is divided in half by a wall. This wall forms the separation between the food and water sections. Each section has its own lid which once opened can stay open until physically closed.

The Filter Fridge will stand on the floor. This is because in many rural households’ cooking areas, there are very few working surfaces. Households currently utilise a lot of the floor space within the cooking area, they should therefore be  comfortable with retrieving items from the unit whilst it rests on the floor.

Section through Filter Fridge

3d sectioned view of filter fridge    cross section through filter fridge

In this rendering the layer of sand and stones is clearly visible. The sand supports the internal receptacle as well as forms a reservoir which retains the water which slowly seeps through the outer ceramic receptacle. The stones are placed on top of, and cover the sand. This creates a pleasant aesthetic as if there were no stones, the wet sand would appear foul and unhygienic.  

The lid covering the half where the water is needs to be regularly lifted to top up the filter. Unfiltered water is poured into the filter, as well as onto the layer of stones to maintain the water hydration of the sand. If an excess of water is poured into the filter and overflows, the water gets channeled onto the stones and will not mix with the filtered water.

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