If this chiller is approved it might be an excellent disaster preparation for remote areas like us. It runs on solar energy and can store the cold for several dark days. Cold is needed for blood samples (to identify an emerging illness), for some medicines, for environmental testing reagents, in addition to vaccines. Currently, if any of our Villages runs out of fuel oil, there are no other electrical sources. While others make jokes about selling freezers to Eskimos (freezers are vital in subsistence economies, even with traditional food storage techniques such as drying and fermenting) our region is too hot or too cold for delicate medicines.

From the excellent SciDevNet,

Agency: United Nations Environment Programme

An innovative new solar-powered refrigeration technology developed by an alliance of seven international organisations, nongovernmental organisations and the private sector has won the prestigious 2006 Cooling Industry Awards in the environmental pioneer category for refrigeration. The SolarChill Vaccine Cooler and Refrigerator Project will enable vaccines to be stored in locations that lack an adequate electricity supply and thereby directly help improve the health of children in developing countries. “

Read more here

The SolarChill Vaccine Cooler and Refrigerator Project was the winner of the prestigious 2006 UK Cooling Industry Award in the Environmental Pioneer Refrigeration category at the October 4, 2006 Cooling Industry Award Ceremonies in London, England.

…SolarChill prototypes have been successfully field tested over an 18 month period, in Senegal, Indonesia and Cuba. At an ambient temperature of 32° Centigrade, the optimized prototypes maintained the required temperatures of 2° to 8° Centigrade under normal use, as well as a hold over temperature of 10° – 15° Centigrade for more than six days without any solar energy….

Since recommended equipment for storage of vaccines has to comply with a set of performance standards defined by WHO and UNICEF, the SolarChill technology has been submitted for WHO approval.

Once the SolarChill technology receives WHO approval, it will be made freely available to the world and will be publicly owned.

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