SunChill: Solar Cooling for Horticultural Preservation
Post-harvest, physiological obstacles such as ethane production, respiration and microbial attack make getting high quality horticultural products to market a significant challenge. Removing field heat from these products can double shelf-life and reduce spoilage rates that often exceed 40% in developing countries. Unfortunately, current off-grid cooling technologies are expensive, energy intensive, and difficult to maintain.
Clean Energy Solution
SunChill is a novel, off-grid refrigeration solution enabling increased agricultural productivity by:
- Removing field heat from crops immediately following harvest, and
- Providing continued product cooling at local markets and/or central processing facilities.
This clean energy solution transforms 50°C solar thermal energy into 10°C refrigeration using water-based refrigerants, zero electricity and local, non-precision components. These characteristics enable production of a low cost, low-maintenance technology that reduces spoilage and benefits smallholder farmer livelihoods.
SunChill is one of the first developing world technologies that reliably removes field heat without a high-cost electrical supply. The low-cost system enables increased horticultural production both for domestic and export consumption, generating additional income for smallholder farmers and increased access to nutritional fruits and vegetables while generating both manufacturing and service based employment.
Rebound Technology develops tailored refrigeration technologies designed to meet global energy market dynamics while reducing fossil fuel dependence. To successfully design, build and deploy SunChill technology, Rebound will leverage critical partnerships. The Energy Institute’s (Colorado State University) product development experience will support R&D, TechnoServe’s business solutions focus will drive host nation outreach/support, and Mozambique Organicos research farm will provide the primary venue for SunChill deployment and in-field testing.
Rebound completed the Powering Agriculture project in March 2016 by validating a SunChill™ field demonstration unit in Mozambique which cooled 43 kg of tomatoes during the pilot. The total project effort resulted in the completion of the engineering work that forms the technology foundation. Remaining is the industrial design work necessary to move SunChill™ to a commercialized product available for deployment. Rebound has utilized some of the data and incorporated lessons learned from field testing SunChill™ into its latest IcePoint™ technology for the US market.
- 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
- Rebound Technology Homepage
- Mozambique Energy Situation
- Powering Agriculture: http://poweringag.org/innovators/sunchill-solar-cooling-horticultural-preservation