Solar Fridge…Anywhere Fridge
Solar Fridge is good and the Anywhere Fridge better. The Anywhere Fridge ushers in a revolution of quality, portable, and sustainable refrigeration. It is solar powered to charge the built-in battery during the day to last all night, while remaining fully functional during the day. Anywhere Fridge is better than every solar fridge on the market and able to sustain functionality on one complete charge for a full night. It can be used indoors and outdoors it has a standard plugin and can act as a household and work place refrigerator. I spoke with inventor and founder of the Anywhere Fridge, Spencer Trotter and asked him the following questions:
What gave you the idea?
I come from a big family that didn’t have much money and wanted to help out with bills. When I was thirteen I was too young to get a regular job so I sold candy door to door. On the warm days the chocolate would melt from the heat. So I purchased an ice chest and filled it with ice but as it melted it became messy. Each time I opened the lid, it would lose its cooling effect and that is what gave me the idea.
The idea is that if it had some kind of solar powered refrigeration it wouldn’t need to be plugged in and would be self-sufficient. The collapsible part I thought of because after I sold all my candy for the day, I wouldn’t have to bicycle back to my house with this big, bulky item. Making it collapsible would make it more portable and ultimately more user-friendly. I really saw the need for a solar fridge, especially in developing countries, rural areas, anywhere where there is no electrical power.
What made you act?
At 18 and feeling unsatisfied working in a corporate job, I started thinking of other options. I decided to make the transition to being an entrepreneur and an inventor. I started the patent process once the Anywhere Fridge became a viable idea and needed to obtain was proprietary protection.
How was the patent process?
I began the patent process by going to the patent library because at the time I didn’t have the funds to acquire a patent. Performed a lot of research on how to fill out the patent application myself, which turned out to be quite cumbersome to say the least. I paid to get the patent process started and through trial and error we got it done. We are patent pending on my utility patent. I thought it would take awhile and it has. The patent process hasn’t cost as much as I thought, although I have spent a considerable sum to have the prototype made and to get it initialized.
How was the prototype process?
Fabricated and put together two prototypes myself. A demo prototype and one that actually worked. It took quite some time to buy and put the mechanical parts together. Then I hired a team to get it professionally prototyped for me in order to get the food and drug administration certification and the underwriters laboratories (UL) listed certifications cleared. This project has taught me so much about being an inventor and entrepreneur. I’ve spent a lot of blood, sweat, and tears working on prototypes, especially making it myself from my own drawings. There were a lot of things I couldn’t foresee, lots to adjust to in order to make it actually work.
What were some of the obstacles along the way and how did you overcome them?
There were a lot of obstacles. I heard the word “No” a lot by many corporations when I tried to get a licensing agreement and by various manufacturers when I asked for help making a prototype. Production assistants that screen for the Shark Tank a year ago rejected me after standing in line for two days with thousands of other hopeful inventors. This was tough to overcome because I felt at the time like it was my last and best opportunity at it. I wanted to quit at that point, but something told me to give it one more year. So here I am a year later with funding raised through an indiegogo.com effort. Now I have my prototype and Sony Video has called to recruit me to go on Shark Tank next year.
Never give up despite the number of times you hear the word NO. A lot of people told Nikola Tesla that AC power wouldn’t work. If he listened to his critics, we wouldn’t have computers, cell phones, or many other things we have today.