Reducing Milk Spoilage through Solar Powered Milk Chilling
Hatsun Agro (India)
In India, $10 billion worth of perishable foods are wasted annually because of unreliable cold-chain supply networks. A major obstacle in setting up cold chain networks is the lack of reliable electricity to run refrigeration systems in villages and farming areas. Diesel generators are often used to provide electricity for milk chilling, a non-ideal solution with high operating costs and negative environmental impact.
Clean Energy Systems
Promethean’s refrigeration solution uses a thermal energy battery pack that charges on solar power and/or a few hours of grid electricity. This provides cold storage around the clock despite inconsistent access to electricity. Dairy processors can collect raw milk from remote dairy farmers and keep it cold in a rapid milk cooler, reducing the time that milk is unchilled by 75%. Promethean will design and deploy the refrigeration systems in collaboration with India’s largest private dairy and one of India’s largest solar installers.
India is the largest producer and consumer of milk in the world. Increasing access to milk while decreasing bacteria and spoilage supports food security and consumer health in India, where 42% of children under the age of five are malnourished. This project will improve access to forward markets, higher income for the dairy farmers, and wealth creation through increase in herd size.
Promethean Power Systems designs and manufactures refrigeration systems coupled to their thermal batteries for agricultural commercial refrigeration applications in off-grid and partially electrified areas of developing countries. Promethean is working in partnership with the Hatsun Argo (India’s largest private dairy company), and Orb Energy (a leading solar energy system provider in India).
By the end of the project in June 2017, Promethean sold over 600 units, of which they have deployed and commissioned over 460 milk chillers coupled to its patented Thermal Battery. Today this technology is enabling over 25,000 dairy farmers to chill their milk without diesel generators to get their milk to the market safely. None of the 250 Promethean chillers in the field have required a diesel generator. As deployment of the chillers continues, Promethean has been able to adapt the solar component design to address specific logistical needs of dairy partners and has seen increased adoption of the chilling solution as a result. Promethean’s solution gives farmers a larger time window to bring their milk to the village center so they can be more productive with crops and other income-generating tasks. It’s a win for the dairy processor because they collect more quality milk and they make more profits as value-added products demand high quality milk. It’s a win for the environment as there is no longer a need for pollution-causing diesel generators. It’s a win for the consumers because they are drinking healthier milk. And it’s a win for the farmers because their livelihoods improve.
- Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) portal on energypedia
- Powering Agriculture Homepage, Winners/ Innovators
- Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development
- Powering Agriculture Newsletters
- Promethean Power Systems Homepage
- India Energy Situation
- Powering Agriculture, Promethean Power Systems: https://poweringag.org/innovators/reducing-milk-spoilage-through-solar-powered-chilling
- HATSUN: http://www.hatsun.com/
- orb energy: http://orbenergy.com/company-2/company/fckLR
- Promethean Power Systems: http://www.coolectrica.com/investors/index.php