Evaporative Cooling Performance and Design Research

Attaching a sensor to a pot-in-pot evaporative cooler in Bamako, Mali.
Attaching a sensor to a pot-in-pot evaporative cooler in Bamako, Mali.

Determining the design constraints for effective product performance.

Research on the most practical and effective evaporative cooling device designs

Recent results from a research study conducted by MIT D-Lab and the World Vegetable Center in Mali “Evaporative Cooling Technologies for Improved Vegetable Storage in Mali” demonstrated that designs simpler than the common pot-in-pot configuration can still provide significant benefits for improving vegetable storage. This work demonstrates that further research is needed on the performance of evaporative coolers with a range of material and design variations. Determining the design constraints for effective product performance at various scales (household, individual farmer, and commercial scales) will allow for the identification of the most practical, cost effective, and easily disseminated designs.

 

Evaporative cooling diagram.

Two men watering a pot-in-pot cooler.

D-Lab's current work on evaporative cooler performance and design 

In partnership with Sensen, D-Lab uses data logging sensors remotely monitor the performance of evaporative cooling devices in the laboratory and the field. Additionally, we are developing a heat and mass transfer model that will be validated with laboratory and field testing data, to allow for design variations to be rapidly explored. By identifying the key design constraints that limit the performance of evaporative cooling devices we will be able to help guide practitioners to develop evaporative cooling devices that are both practical and effective.

We are seeking additional partnerships with organizations interested in studying the performance of evaporative cooling devices in the context where they work.

 

D-Lab's areas of work on evaporative cooling for vegetable preservation 


Contact

Eric Verploegen, Research Engineer, Food-Water-Energy Lead