Insights / Bangladeshi answer to free air-con is rubbish

Bangladeshi answer to free air-con is rubbish

23rd June 2016

In rural areas of Bangladesh where the risk of flooding is high, as much as 70% of the population lives in corrugated tin huts. Although more resistant to flooding, these houses can become unbearably hot in the heat of the summer, leading to extreme discomfort and, in some cases, death.

In environments like these, air conditioning units become an essential to living comfortably. But, sadly, many of these homes aren’t connected to an electricity supply, and even if they were, these AC units are extremely expensive to buy, run and fix.

The ‘Eco-Cooler’ project is set to change this. Spreading knowledge of a cheap and electricity-free way to cool down houses throughout Bangladesh, the beauty of these units is that they require little more than a piece of board and a few plastic bottles.

Bangladeshi answer to free air-con is rubbish

The unique system works by taking a piece of board cut to the size of a window on your house, drilling holes in the board big enough to push a plastic bottle neck through and then sliding the bottles (with the ends cut off) into the holes.

A deceptively simple design, the grid works on the same principle as blowing air out of your mouth. If you open your mouth wide and breathe out, the air is hot. Do the same but with your lips pursed, and the air is colder. The plastic bottles work in the same way; the larger end takes in the warm outside air and changes the pressure as it passes through the neck. So as wind blows through the bottles, cool air is funnelled into the hut.

Depending on outdoor conditions, this technique has the potential to decrease the temperature in the house by 5°C or more which, in extreme temperatures of up to 45°C in summer, can make the world of difference.

Not only does the Eco-Cooler provide a free and easy way for people in hot countries to stay cool, but it also helps to clean up the planet by recycling waste products.

So far, the initiative has already taken root throughout nearly 25,000 households in villages across Nilphamari, Daulatdia, Paturia, Modonhati, and Khaleya, and details of the project have been put online in the hopes of reaching as many people as possible.

“After initial tests, blueprints of the Eco-Cooler were put up online for everyone to download for free,” commented Syed Gousul Alam Shaon, chief creative officer at one of the companies promoting this system. “Raw materials are easily available, therefore, making Eco-Coolers a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solution”.