Vaccines are difficult to transport and store in areas that need them most. Solar-powered refrigerators want to fill this gap.

Refrigeration of vaccines.

Problems with transport and refrigerated storage (what public health experts call the “cold chain”) led to “low immunization coverage, high risk of epidemics and increased mortality for preventable diseases. with vaccines. In effect, they limited the availability of vaccines at all service delivery points.

Logistics, rather than the vaccine supply itself, is often the biggest obstacle to immunization in the poorest countries. Vaccines generally need to be stored in a temperature-controlled environment to be effective. In addition, long distances, poor roads, hot weather and unreliable electricity (with more than a billion people without access to electricity globally) make deployment even more difficult. . The cold chain is therefore a major challenge. Add to this the need to carry heavy, expensive and sometimes scarce fuel to run refrigerators in places without a network, you will get a feel for some of the logistical barriers to vaccine distribution.

Vaccination Democratic Republic of the Congo. Image: Valeriya Anufriyeva Shutterstock

Solarchill, developed by Greenpeace and six other organizations (UNICEF, WHO, among others), combines environmentally friendly cooling with direct drive solar technology for off-grid cooling applications.

It provides a more reliable, safe, and cleaner form of refrigeration than refrigerators that use kerosene. Your solar panels generate the electrical current you need to power your compressor.

SolarChill refrigerators do not use any substance that damages the ozone layer or substances that contribute to global warming.

Solar-powered refrigerators are replacing those that use gas or kerosene for fuel, or those that rely on the electricity grid. Solar Direct Drive (SDD) refrigerators are even smarter versions. Like older solar models, SDD refrigerators connect to photovoltaic solar panels installed on poles or on the roofs of buildings. Refrigerators have thick liners of ice or cold water that freezes directly, which typically maintains the proper temperature for three to five heavy cloudy days. However, a 16 liter product has a whopping “uptime” of 19.9 days. Depending on the size of the cold room or refrigerator, the ice pack should be refrozen after each use or after several weeks.

It can be used both as a refrigerator for vaccines or for food. They can also be connected to the conventional electricity grid. It is currently being tested in Cuba, Indonesia and Senegal. When these are completed and WHO gives its approval, it will begin to be marketed.

Greenpeace expects these refrigerators to replace 100,000 kerosene vaccine refrigerators. Other characteristics of this magnificent invention are:

  • It can be used for vaccines or food, so it can be used in both developed and developing countries.
  • It does not use batteries. It can also be connected to electric current.
  • 3 solar panels of 60 W.
  • Your compressor does not contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer.
  • A single refrigerator can store vaccines for 50,000 people.
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More information: solarchill.org