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Modern Mavericks

A Bangladeshi Inventor Developed Electric-Free Air Conditioners

What can you make with old plastic bottles? An air-conditioning unit? Believe it or not, you can.

When inventor and Grey Group Creative Supervisor Ashis Paul created an innovative way to draw cool air into homes with plastic bottles, he and his company taught rural Bangladeshis to do the same. Partnered with Grameen Intel Social Business Ltd, they distributed and installed electric-free air conditioners in more than 25,000 household in the country’s developing areas.

About 70% of Bangladesh’s population builds their homes from tin because they live in flood-prone areas, Grey Group Creative Director Jaiyyanul Huq explained. These tin huts become unbearably hot in the summer. “It’s like being in a sauna in the Sahara,” he said.

Eco-Cooler inventor Ashis Paul

Ashis Paul’s Eco-friendly idea came from overhearing his daughter’s tutoring session. Her physics tutor explained how gas cools when it expands quickly. Blow on your hand with your mouth wide open. The air feels hot, doesn’t it? Now, blow on your hand with your lips pursed. It feels like a cool breeze.

Ashis experimented with this physics lesson and developed the Eco-cooler, an electric-free air conditioner. Made from plastic bottles, it can decrease a room’s temperature by 5°C.

Watch the video below on how Ashis’ team cooled rooms and warmed hearts in rural Bangladesh, with no electricity required.

(Editor’s note: Grameen Intel is social business and partnership between NGO Grameen and Intel)

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