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INDIA:  Like most farmers in developing countries, dairy farmers see the vast majority if their product spoil because of a lack of access not only to a refrigeration system but also due to the fact they don't have access to a reliable source of electricity.

“By the time they reach the dairy processor, it’s almost spoiled,” says Sam White, co-founder of Boston-based Promethean Power Systems, a company that’s aiming to fill the industry’s cold chain gap in India. Using thermal battery storage, Promethean’s rapid milk chiller can refrigerate the milk of several villages – up to 1,500 L.

Promethean has tested 50 of these chillers and found that villages which receive at least eight hours of intermittent power from the grid –25% to 30% of villages – are able to power the coolers, without the help of solar power or diesel fuel.

For the remaining 70% of villages that are off-grid, Promethean is currently refining a solar-powered chiller, and plans to install its first system soon. However, Promethean’s chiller costs $10,000 which is much more feasible for Dairy producers than for rural farmers.

But another company, Houston-based GreenRig Co is producing a cold storage solution that meets the need for refrigerated transport in developing countries. Their product, a solar and battery-powered tricycle cart, has a 50-60 gallon built-in chiller and can refrigerate over 330lbs (13.6kg) of food for 11 hours, or almost 50 miles.

“During a trip to rural India, I found out that the country produces enough food to feed the entire population, but somewhere between 35% and 55% of food perishes on the supply chain because of not enough refrigeration,” says Lindsay David, GreenRig Co co-founder.

The biggest challenges facing cleantech companies are attempting to reduce upfront costs to a price that’s affordable for the target market.

Amanda Faulkner, Cleantech Group analyst, says, "in contrast to companies focusing on agriculture in developed countries, entrepreneurs working in developing countries need more customers before the business can scale and become profitable. Start-ups targeting giant food and agriculture companies, such as Monsanto, might only need just one customer, but those developing products to help small farmers have to hustle quite a bit more to scale the business, as there are more single-family farmers who operate independently."

About Promethean Power Systems: Sorin Grama and Sam White founded Promethean Power Systems in 2007 to address a large market need with an innovative solution that can have a positive impact on millions of people. In 2012 Promethean Power Systems formed a joint venture with Spenta Refrigeration Pvt. Ltd. of Navi Mumbai. The new company, Promethean Spenta Technologies, aims to bridge the power gap in rural India by offering Indian farmers and food processors affordable cold-storage equipment for perishable food items.

About GreenRig Co: GreenRig Co is a Houston based company providing customized clean technology solutions and consultancy services to selected industries. GreenRig Co has helped a diverse clientele reduce particular energy costs and Co2 by an industry leading average of 72% through replacing fuel, grid and generator based power with innovative clean technology solutions.

To view Promethean Power Systems video: On a quest for Zero Milk Wastage Click here

Original Source: Kristine Wong @wongkxt 

UK: Adande® Refrigeration’s Aircell® technology has been installed for the first time ever at a new Tesco Extra eco store in Lincoln.

Aircell® is a patented airflow management system, designed for open front refrigerated multi deck cabinets. The technology was designed and developed by Adande®, with extensive prototyping, testing, validation and support from refrigeration consultants, ECH Engineering.

The two refrigerated display cabinets were manufactured by Manor Concepts under a licence agreement from Adande®. Manor Concepts incorporated the Aircell® system within its ‘Viper’ remote cabinet design and manufactured the prototype models to a tight deadline.

The Aircell® concept avoids the need to fit physical barriers, such as glass doors, to the front of multi deck cabinets to achieve energy savings.

How it Works: Aircell® segments standard retail cabinets into a series of air flow managed cells with short air curtains. Consequently, there is less pressure on the air curtain of each cell, resulting in a substantial reduction in cold air spillage from the case, so less energy is required to maintain the chilled temperature within the cabinet.

The inherently stable temperature in Aircell® cabinets will also help to maintain the quality and appearance of chilled food over longer periods, reducing the volume of perishable merchandise which may be price discounted or thrown away.

Other features of the 80,000 sq ft Tesco Extra eco store:

  • Roof lights which flood the store with natural light
  • A CO2 refrigeration system and a heat recovery process, which takes heat generated by the refrigeration units and re-circulates it back through the store.
  • LED lights - The first Tesco Extra store to use only this method.

Tesco Head of Refrigeration, Joe Gomez, stated: “We view Aircell® technology as a good fit with our environmental and customer focused objectives. It affords shoppers unhindered access to merchandise for ease of shopping. We will be monitoring the cabinets’ energy consumption, product display temperature stability and the effect on cold aisle syndrome against key performance indicators as part of this trial installation.”

Adande® Chairman, Nigel Bell, added:  “This installation is an important breakthrough in the evolution of Aircell®. It is the result of hard work and committed cooperation between Adande®, ECH Engineering and Manor Concepts. It also highlights the environmental vision of the Tesco refrigeration and engineering team.”

About Adande: Based in Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK. Applied Design and Engineering (Adande) was founded by Ian Wood and George Young as an HVAC engineering consultancy specialising in industrial ventilation, refrigeration and air conditioning for the offshore oil, gas and petrochemical industries.