The University of St. Thomas

School of Engineering

A passive evaporative cooler for preserving produce

Robert Schulzetenberg ('10), Hans Drabek ('10), Tim Welle and David Timm are designing a porous evaporative clay cooler for the preservation of fresh produce. Based on the Nigerian Zeer Pot, the students are designing flat interchangeable panels that could scale up the passive design to enable entrepreneurial farmers to preserve their produce. The design will also be tested with seed potatoes preservation. All seed potatoes in Western Africa are currently being imported from Europe. Malian farmers are very interested in growing this potentially lucrative food source but lack a cost-effective way of preserving the seed through its dormant phase.

Advisor is Dr. Camille George. In partnership with the Rural Economic Institute of Mali, the Malian School of Agriculture and the USDA Higher Education Challenge Grants Program 2007-02535.