To those of us that live in the Western world, a solar powered refrigerator might sound like a cool, interesting gadget. Yet, for people in remote, Third World regions, the ability to chill foods and medicines to appropriate temperatures without the necessity of being connected to the grid could save their lives.
The solar powered refrigerator shown to the left was developed by the engineering firm True Energy and runs on”Sure Chill Technology.” With daytime temperatures often reaching over 90 degrees F, Sure Chill can items at a safe, cool temperature (39-43 degrees F), using either solar power or grid-based electricity, depending on location and needs.
Once the solar powered refrigerator reaches its desired temperature, it can go without any power or electricity for up to 10 days, without warming up. With a high-density polyurethane foam as insulation and a phase change material that can store energy until needed. The system responds to rising temperatures by kicking in to cool down the interior.
Unicef and the World Health Organization (WHO) are using the solar-powered refrigerator to store vaccinations that need to be kept cool in remote areas of Africa.