Rising temperatures and soaring electricity bills go hand in hand. Our refrigerators and ACs work the hardest during summer months. These life-saving appliances though help us get through the hot months but are not very environment-friendly. Apart from consuming a huge amount of electricity it also has a hazard of leaking CFCs into the environment. These CFCs or Chlorofluorocarbons cause the maximum damage to the ozone layer.
The other alternatives way of cooling is through the process of evaporation. When we feel hot we sweat and sweating, in turn, makes us feel cooler. That’s because of evaporation of sweat which leaves our feeling cool. To understand better, water can store quite some heat without change the temperature. This stored heat is called latent heat. During the process, water absorbs heat and changes its state from liquid to gas. When the gas leaves the surface it takes the extra heat with leaving the surface cool and dry.
Swamp Coolers or Desert Coolers
One of the best examples of evaporative cooling put to use is in Swamp or desert coolers. In such coolers, there are essentially 4 parts to it. The water reservoir, the absorbing surface, the fan and the pump. The cooler holds water in its reservoir that is used to pump to the cooling pads with the absorbent material like hay or sponge. This cooling pad is hence damp at all times. The fan draws air from outside the cooler through these cooling pads. In this process, the warm temperature outside causes the water in the pad to evaporate leaving the air cool.
Earthen Pots Have Health Benefits Too
Another great example and an alternative to refrigerators for cooling water is an earthen pot. Earthen pots are traditionally used to keep the water as they work on the evaporative cooling principle. The porous surface of the pot allows small amounts of water to seep through the holes. This makes the exterior damp and the heat outside evaporates the water leaving the pot dry and cool. The alkaline properties of the clay pot also help balance the ph levels of the water making it better for your body.
Why They Fail In High Humidity Regions
The term humidity is used to describe the amount of water in the air. If in the environment the mixture of air and water is 4:1 then the humidity is 20%. Thus the evaporative cooler and earthen pots work well when the humidity is low. When the water content or humidity is high then there is less space for the water on the damp surfaces to evaporate.