It works like a traditional cooler with ice to preserve food or drinks, but a fan is the key to this unique invention. The Cool Green Machine is a cooler that also cools the environment. It was invented by Virgil Heil of Birmingham.
"It's an air conditioning unit as well as a cooler. It keeps your food cool. If you were going to go camping, for example, you can throw all your pop, all your beer, two bags of ice into it," he explained.
Heil said everything will stay cold for days, and these machines, which come in various sizes, can be plugged in, run off a battery, AC adapter or even solar power.
Heil told us he was inspired to create this after the big blackout in 2003 when people were stuck in high-rise buildings without power. Food spoiled and there was no air conditioning.
He won't give out all the secrets, but said The Cool Green Machine works without a compressor, condenser or freon. It's also made of 100-percent recycled materials.
Heil took his invention to a national competition in Pennsylvania and was the first runner up. He also got a big check for $3,000. Since then, he's had some interest from investors.
He said The Cool Green Machine is perfect for camping, boating or golf, and will even cool things off in the great outdoors.
"We've product tested [a] unit ... in a tent in 92 degree weather," Heil explained. "Let it run for a full hour. After an hour, the tent temperature was down to 70 degrees."
Heil hopes to market and manufacture The Cool Green Machine in Michigan. You could someday see it on store shelves, and he hopes to create green jobs in the process.