Fridges On Special Assignment

Room Transfers

Room transfer requests may be made from now until September 1. Go to your assignment information (via myUCDavis), where you'll find the link to submit a room transfer request.

After move-in weekend, transfer requests may be made during the fall quarter room transfer period, which is from October 9 through November 9, 2017.

Computer Preparation

You need to register your computer before you can access the UC Davis computer networks. The Residential Computing section of the Student Housing website explains how.

The residence hall Computer Centers provide you with complimentary access to computers, printers, scanners, internet and space for studying and holding review sessions.

Check out the UC Davis Store's TechHub for special student pricing on computers, software, and other computer-related products.

Telephone Service

A land-line telephone is an optional service available in most residence hall rooms. (Check your building profile page to verify your building's telephone availability.)

If you want to subscribe to landline telephone service, discuss the option with your roommates to decide things such as who gets to use it and who pays for it. You can learn about and subscribe to the service at the Student Phones website.

Fridge and Microwave Program

Need a microwave or refrigerator—or both—for your room this year? Renting is cheaper than buying, and ASUCD Refrigerator Services offers a Micro Fridges and Mini Fridges rental program for residence hall students.

Aggie Bike Buy Program

The UC Davis Bike Barn is our very own on-campus bike shop. The Aggie Bike Buy program allows you to select a bike from the Bike Barn website, along with accessories and a maintenance plan to set you up with a well running bike for all four years! Just walk into the shop on Move-In Weekend to pick up your pre-ordered bike. You can also purchase a maintenance plan by itself if you plan on bringing up your own bike.

Fall Welcome Events

Fall Welcome is school-spirit-fueled fun at UC Davis. It begins with Welcome Week, which features several large events, including an outdoor dining and resource fair, a movie night and The Buzz. Check the Fall Welcome website for complete information and the full event calendar.

Smart Start Event

UC Davis Stores' Smart Start Move-In Weekend event is a complimentary personal shopping experience made to guide you through the ins and outs of buying and renting textbooks. Get personal help from our expert student staff, find the lowest-priced options for books and support your own independently run nonprofit bookstore. Join us for a Smart Start to your college career!

The assignment was to come up with a product that would improve the lives of one billion people.

Quang Truong, who was a graduate student at the Tufts Fletcher School and MIT, thought of spoiled produce. He'd seen a lot of it in his travels around the world.

It's no surprise he did. In developing countries, about 470 million small farms lose an average of 15% of their income to food spoilage.

The problem, in part, is refrigeration. The high cost of electricity, coupled with its unreliability, makes even the best refrigerator just a useless hunk of metal.

"A lot of NGOs have given refrigerators to farmers, who say thank you, and then they come back three months later and they're using it as a shelf," said Spencer Taylor, who teamed up with Truong to co-found Evaptainers, a for-profit company based in Boston.

Related: Your period could change the world

Evaptainers are refrigeration devices that look like a large cooler and run on sun and water. The heat is drawn out of the unit's interior onto highly conducive aluminum plates. They're connected to a special fabric, which is kept wet, and the heat naturally dissipates through evaporative cooling.

It needs six liters of water to work, and keeps things cold for 12 hours.

"If you are growing vegetables, you have an access point to water and are already invested in watering and growing a crop," Taylor said. "It's a very small additional investment."

The $10 to $20 units are an improvement on a traditional cooling method used throughout much of Africa and the Middle East. Called a zeer pot, it's one terra cotta pot nested in a larger one, with wet sand filling in the gap between. It works, and uses that same evaporative cooling technique, but it's heavy and breakable.

When designing the Evaptainers, Taylor said they eliminated fans, pumps and anything breakable because "this needs to be able to drop off a moped and still work."

The units hold 60 liters of produce. In practical terms, that's about 150 large tomatoes. Taylor estimates a small farmer using one or two Evaptainers would reduce spoilage and increase profits.

"Previous studies on evaporative cooling technologies and zeer pots show an average income increase of 25%," Truong said. "We estimate a payback period of two months per unit, based on increased income from reduced spoilage."

Taylor and Truong have invested $20,000 in the company so far, and aren't yet paying themselves. "We're driven by the mission," Taylor said. They have no outside investors.

Related: These startups thrive on being 'unreasonable'

The device is still a prototype, and a pilot program rolled out in Morocco a couple weeks ago. It's still small -- just two units -- but more will arrive in the next few weeks. They partnered with a farming cooperative so the farmers don't have to pay for the coolers.

Morocco offers a solid testing ground.

There are only 1,500 refrigerated trucks in the entire country, and while data on food spoilage is slim, Truong said there is "some consensus that between 30% to 35% of food produced in Morocco rots before it reaches the end consumer."

Reception has been positive so far.

"People here thinks it's magic," Truong said. "They stick their hands inside and feel the cool aluminum plates -- but they see no plug, compressor, electrical wires or solar panels -- so there definitely is some astonishment."

Truong said Moroccans in the pilot program are using the containers to refrigerate higher-value fruits and vegetables that spoil quickly, like tomatoes, leafy greens, Moroccan dates, olives and berries.

"However, there are a few other local flavors I thought were interesting," he said. "One is a special kind of cactus meat, which is a delicacy, and apparently as expensive as beef steak."

CNNMoney (New York) First published April 7, 2015: 7:12 AM ET


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