Hohenheim Milk Cooling System - Implementation in Colombia

From energypedia

Back to: Solar Milk Cooling with Insulated Milk Cans

Back to: Do It Yourself - Solar Cooling Unit


Transport of milk from the farmer to a collection point by horse.

Milk losses due to a lack of cooling and poor hygiene result in high production losses and sanitary risks in Colombia. Hardest hit are small-scale dairy farmers located in non-electrified areas or post-conflict regions.

On the other hand, due to the cost reduction of solar energy, several technical solutions are nowadays available. However, beyond the technology, there is still very little insight into the most promising business models to support small-scale dairy farms in the Colombian context.

For this project, suitable business models will be identified and piloted in a joint initiative between promising local experts, the University of Hohenheim, the GIZ in Colombia, and communities of Meta and other regions in Colombia. The private sector shall be involved at that stage as far as possible to achieve the overall objective of building a bridge towards the deployment of solar milk cooling technologies in (rural) Colombia.


October 2017 to May 2018:

Assessment of business opportunities through the introduction of solar milk cooling in rural Colombia

The overall goal of the presented project is to identify, assess and promote business models that would contribute towards an up-scaling of the ice-based milk cooling concept in Colombia.

The project shall focus on the financial and economic assessment of business opportunities as main indicator for future interventions, as further development of the technology, its promotion and cooperation with companies for its local production and commercialization. The objectives include:

  • The financial and economic estimation of income generation potential of local milk producers in the Colombian department of Meta, Cundinamarca and Boyacá.
  • To identify and formulate suitable business models within existing value chain segments and relevant actors.
  • Pilot testing of 3 mobile prototypes with the selected business models at several farms for the assessment of milk quality preservation, income generation and social acceptance.
  • The elaboration of strategies to promote and introduce small-scale milk cooling systems at different levels of the dairy value chain (farm, collecting points, cooperative, dairy plants) to give recommendations on how and where to effectively introduce the technology.
  • The analysis of the state of the art of local industry for a sustainable commercialization and maintenance of the studied milk cooling solution.

Milk can with ice compartment and insolation jacket produced in Colombia
Installed solar panels to power the refrigerator

Results & Findings

Colombian dairy value chain

The Colombian dairy value chain varies highly between different localities because of different climates, infrastructures, personal convictions and economical possibilities.

Scheme of the Colombian dairy value chain from milking to the transformation industry
Scheme of the Colombian dairy value chain from milking to the transformation industry

Local produced Solar Milk Cooling System

Field Testing

Temperature profile of milk while overnight storage with the solar milk cooling system on a farm in La Calera, Colombia
Temperature profile of milk after the morning milking stored with the solar milk cooling system on a farm in La Calera, Colombia

More information

Mission report of the introduction and testing of solar milk cooling systems in Colombia:

Mission Report Colombia

Workshop on solar milk cooling in Colombia Mai 2018:

Evaluación de Oportunidades de Negocio a través de la Introducción de Refrigeración Solar de Leche en Áreas Rurales de Colombia.

Refrigeración de leche cruda con energía solar en Colombia

Enfriamiento de leche con energia solar Universidad de Hohenheim Alemania


Many thanks to the GIZ both in Germany also in Colombia, that enabled the work in the field. Thanks also to BPG Asesores, represented by its director José Miguel Acosta Barbosa, SYNERGY, represented by Diana Ramos Perez and Assumar, represented by Axel Friedrich Santacruz Lehnert. These three people continued field testing and developing systems for a better cooling to increase acceptance of the solar milk cooling in rural Colombia.