The first SelfChill solar cooling solutions for Kenyan farmers were set into operation for cooling herbs, milk and fish in September and October 2021. The German solar technology provider Phaesun GmbH in cooperation with Solar Cooling Engineering UG and local partners SunTransfer Kenya and Strathmore University Nairobi have successfully implemented SelfChill solar cooling solutions in Kenya within the project “PV Cool Kenya”.
The SelfChill concept focuses on the use of key components for scalable solar cooling solutions for agricultural products. The core component is an ice reservoir formed out of several SelfChill Cooling Units that compensates fluctuations in solar energy or cooling capacity. Cooling systems can be created in different sizes for different applications and temperature ranges (ice-makers, milk tanks, cold rooms etc.). The concept also allows delivery in individual components as well as use of local material, such that transport volume and costs are kept low and final assembly can be carried out on site.
In July 2020 Phaesun, Solar Cooling Engineering and Strathmore University started the project “PV Cool Kenya” supported through the developpp-programme of DEG to implement the SelfChill concept in Kenya. Studies show that various agricultural value chains suffer from low product quality and high post-harvest losses due to missing cooling options in rural areas.
Thus, the project “PV Cool Kenya” is implementing innovative solar cooling solutions to stakeholders of different value chains.
One important aspect of the project is the knowledge transfer on cooling technologies and capacity building in regard of system sizing, assembly, installation and maintenance of solar cooling systems. A first technical training with 38 participants took place in September 2021 at Strathmore Energy Research Centre. Thomas Bundi, Quality Engineer at Strathmore University, reports: “During the training we constructed two solar cooling systems together with the trainees. The enthusiasm was amazing, so much that participants stayed until the late evening to see the system performance after sunset.”
Another component of the project is the implementation of a cold room at a herbal farm, milk cooling systems for cooperatives and an ice maker for a fishing community. The end-users expect higher income due to improved product quality and productivity. The performance of the systems will be observed via a remote monitoring and control system.
An online webinar about the SelfChill concept and experiences gained in Kenya will be held on 10th November 9:00-10:30am CET. Please see www.selfchill.org/webinar for more information or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.