Karnataka engineering students create mobile refrigerator for vegetable vendors

Four engineering students from Mysuru develop low-cost cooling cart for vegetable vendors to keep their produce fresh
(From left) Engineering students from Mysuru—Shubham Sain, Supreeth S, Vivek Chandrashekhar, and Naveen HV—who designed the low-cost cooling cart | Express
(From left) Engineering students from Mysuru—Shubham Sain, Supreeth S, Vivek Chandrashekhar, and Naveen HV—who designed the low-cost cooling cart | Express

MYSURU: In a testimony to the adage ‘nothing is impossible when you believe’, a farmer’s son, along with three of his classmates, has designed a low-cost cooling solution for vegetable vendors, becoming the cynosure of all eyes at their college campus. Naveen HV, son of a farmer and native of Mandya, who is pursuing his engineering from Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering in Mysuru, has come up with this innovation which helps vegetable vendors to keep their produce fresh while they are out selling them under the scorching Sun.

Naveen and his classmates Shubhan Sain, Supreeth S, and Vivek Chandrashekhar were determined to address one of the major problems that street vendors in the country face and decided to design and develop an economic cooling solution. Naveen, who headed the team and having first-hand knowledge about the struggle of a farmer and knowing the nuances of reaching the farm produce to houses did a complete research on the impediments by vegetable vendors.

“We knew the problem statement but needed to know the exact difficulties vendor face. After this, we were able to come up with a feasible and convenient solution for vendors. We took suggestions from experts based on which we built an air-cooled chamber and sourced solar energy for electricity so that the machine is self-reliant. The present model requires vendors to charge it once a day after which the system depends on solar energy for power,” says Naveen.

A temperature of up to 5 to 10 degrees Celsius is required for the vegetables to remain fresh. These students have gone a step ahead and have extended the utility of this cart to those that would want to sell dairy products too.The students have designed the cart in such a way that the refrigeration of the cart could be maintained with a temperature between 0 and 10 degrees Celsius.

Although each cart is expected to cost Rs 52,292, it is way cheaper compared to the carts with coolers available in the market, which is anywhere in the ballpark of Rs 1 lakh.Team member Vivek Chandrashekhar says that they have plans to improvise the cart further. “We are planning to add pressure sensors which will help generate energy from the pressure generated when the vendor peddles the cart. Also, we are planning to make the cart more energy efficient by making it like an electric two-wheeler, include more solar panels and increase storage capacity of the cart,” he adds.

The team says that as they all are students, it was an Herculean task to develop the cart.“We had to strike a balance between our exams and working on the cart. This gave us a great deal of learning with regards to managing projects under pressure. Once we wrote an exam from morning till afternoon and were left with an hour to attend the event to present the project,” Naveen adds.

Prof Sadashivegwda, Principal, Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering, says it is a good project by the students. “There is always room for improvement and our students are at it. They are improvising this project based on suggestions they are receiving. This project will help fruits and vegetable vendors, especially during the summer months. The vendors can supply from the harvest to the customers without losing its freshness. Not just in summer, but this cart can be helpful throughout the year in a tropical country likes ours,” he concludes with a sense of pride.

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