Keep vaccines cool in hot countries

Energy efficient fridge for vaccine storage

An energy efficient fridge that can store vaccines for more than 10 days without any power is helping to save lives in developing countries.

Wales-based sustainable energy firm True Energy has designed the vaccine refrigerator using its patented Sure Chill technology, which enables energy to be stored efficiently and provides controlled cooling even during power cuts.

The fridge operates on less than five hours of mains supply a day and, once charged, maintains constant cooling below 10˚C without any power at all.

The vaccine refrigerator uses Sure Chill technology

In order to store a vaccine safely it has to be kept at temperatures between 2°C and 8ºC. Using traditional forms of refrigeration in many parts of the developing world is not an option as the power supply is poor, unreliable and power cuts are frequent.

The power-free cooling phase of the True Energy fridge can last more than 10 days at ambient temperatures up to 43°C, which is eight times longer than the nearest competitor.

The refrigerator, which holds 103 litres of vaccines, has passed the World Health Organisation’s stringent tests and is now listed on its website.

True Energy’s chief technical officer Ian Tansley, who developed the technology after 6 years of research, said: ‘The application of Sure Chill for the storage of life-saving vaccines is extremely satisfying from a personal point of view and will benefit millions of people.’

Sure Chill can take energy from any available source and can be charged using mains power, solar power or even a combination of the two.

The technology uses an intelligent monitoring system to keep temperatures stable. If it senses any very warm or cold objects, it reacts immediately to extract heat, stabilise temperatures and protect valuable stock. It also cools faster than a conventional refrigerator, even when there is no power.

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