Due to limited electrification in rural areas, 85% of Kenya’s 800,000+ dairy farms do not have access to refrigerated storage and transportation. This deficiency in the distribution chain results in less than half of the milk produced reaching dairy processors. Of the milk that is processed, up to 30% of it may spoil without appropriate cold-storage options. Consequently, many dairy farmers and processors unnecessarily may lose significant earning potential from their operations.
Clean Energy Solution
Recognizing the need for affordable cold-chain technologies, SunDanzer is developing a small-scale portable cooling system tailored for use in the Kenyan dairy market. The system comprises a photovoltaic refrigerator (PVR) that uses solar energy to cool a chest refrigerator. This technology may use a battery for energy storage or phase-change materials - substances which are capable of storing and releasing large amounts of energy - or a combination of both. SunDanzer will evaluate freezing phase-change material into “milk packs.” The portable milk packs retain their cold temperature overnight, and in the morning, farmers use them to keep collected milk cold in sterilized aluminum milk containers as they transport it to dairy processing facilities.
Refrigerator © SunDanzer Refrigeration
This clean energy solution aims to increase dairy farm productivity and income by significantly decreasing milk spoilage. Effective cold-chain storage lowers bacteria count and improves milk quality for consumers. These improvements can play a major role in the livelihoods of approximately one million smallholder dairy farming families in Kenya
SunDanzer has 14 years of experience with off-grid refrigeration needs, including developing the world’s first battery-free solar powered refrigerator. Winrock International is a leader in agricultural development and has more than a quarter century of experience with renewable energy based rural electrification. It has supported the installation of more than 80,000 rural renewable energy systems around the globe and has three offices in Kenya.
SunDanzer has delivered and installed 40 solar milk cooling refrigerators in Kenya. Of these 40 refrigerators, 38 units were installed at dairy farmers whose product feeds two cooperatives; one was installed at Egerton University; and one was installed at the Mogotio milk cooperative. 40 more units are on their way to Kenya to be installed at farms in rural Kenya counties, two additional units will be installed on farms in Rwanda as a separate project. SunDanzer has added Chloride Exide as their distributor/installer in Kenya.
The farm owner with a few cows was full of praise on how the cooler has changed her life for the better. She noted that there are days when she is late in milking or times when the cooperative truck fails to come for collection of milk. On such occasions, she now has the cooler to preserve the milk for later delivery/collection. Previously, this milk would have gone to waste without the cooler. She also mentioned how the cooler has changed her life, as she stores other perishable household groceries in the fridge.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Powering Agricutlure: http://poweringag.org/innovators/solar-powered-refrigeration-dairy-farms
- ↑ SunDanzer: http://sundanzer.com/fckLR
- ↑ Winrock International: http://www.winrock.org.np/index.php