A One-Time Poultry Farmer Invents the Future of Refrigeration

17%: Portion of global electricity use that goes to refrigeration. Back in 2001, a middle-aged man made a video of his car and sent it around to a few friends. So far, so predictable—but this video featured a dilapidated Vauxhall Nova whizzing around a junk-strewn yard in a cloud of fog. At the wheel was Peter Dearman, a rumpled-looking autodidact who had spent the better part of four decades imagining a way to build engineering’s ultimate vaporware: a motor powered only by air. Born in 1951 on an egg farm north of London, Dearman would seem an unlikely candidate to have solved the problem. He left school at age 15 and worked in the family business for a while, then took a job at a local sheet-metal factory. He spent his evenings as many Englishmen do—out in the garage or the garden shed, tinkering. But Dearman’s aptitude and ambition […]

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