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Malaras

Would it be possible to make a cooler for when power goes out to keep stuff cold?

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Technically speaking, the only thing that might work would be a bag in the running-river, but it'd be dependent on the river's temperature, and would give you a risk of loosing whatever you stored that way.

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Decreasing entropy is a hard thing to do and rather elaborate strategies are needed to do so. One nice trick is so-called evaporative cooling, used in Africa to preserve food. However it's not miraculously effective, especially in colder and wetter climates.

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... You can make a coolant with things you'd probably find pretty common in and around farms. 

 

Ammonium nitrate is the key here. It's a fertilizer, and a common ingredient in instant cold packs. If you mix this with water, it will dramatically reduce that water's temperature.

 

The ammonium nitrate and water mixture creates an endothermic reaction (It absorbs heat from the surroundings) which lowers the temperature of those surroundings. Given time this is sufficient to freeze the water in the bowl. 

 

Kind of a neat little science experiment, though thanks to certain high-profile fertilizer "incidents", you're probably better off not getting the materials to try this at home. 

 

Here's a video though, pretty cool stuff. 

 

 

Edited to add; In regards to long-term cold storage, good insulation, and a basement are your best friends. 

Edited by Asrayl

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Since you speak about ice and power out ... Well i just had to rethink of what people where doing back then with no electricity. Its not miraculous but hey! Its better then nothing.

They kept big ass ice cube under straw in a dark place to keep it during the ''heat season''

Anyway someone wrote about it xD

 

The thing goes by the name ICE BOXES.


http://frozen61.tripod.com/id5.html

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Bumping a very old suggestion: Since we have ice packs in the game it would be great to have styrofoam or insulated plastic coolers in order to keep food cold. Being able to load up a cooler with frozen ice packs would make it a lot more doable to keep food cold while traveling or gathering food. This would probably also entail temperature being averaged between objects in the container so that the existence of cold ice packs in the cooler would bring down the temperature of foods added to the cooler. 

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