Solar Powered Refrigerator Could Bring Health and Energy Savings to Rural India

promethean solar powered refrigerator image

I just love new technologies that allow the developing world to leapfrog straight into a renewable energy future. TreeHugger has covered several of these inventions and programs—the e-charkha, solar powered lamps to replace kerosene, more efficient biomass cookstoves, micro-loan programs for solar panels. Here's another one: A refrigerator powered by a solar-diesel hybrid generator designed to be used in rural India. Check it out:Add Biodiesel For Even Greater Green Cred
Developed by Cambridge, Mass.-based Promethean Power Systems , the new fridge runs off a diesel generator and 180 watt solar panels. So while as currently envisioned the unit is only partially renewably powered, there's nothing to stop it from using biodiesel—perhaps made from small-scale local Jatropha production—and being fully green.


Thermoelectric Cooling Used
Instead of using Freon as a coolant it used thermoelectric cooling. Cleantech describes the process: "Thermoelectric cooling is based on the Peltier effect, in which a current passes through a circuit of two dissimilar conductors, and results in a temperature change at the junction. Promethean says the technology has the potential to displace vapor-compressor refrigeration but has low cooling efficiency, which has limited its use to small applications."

A Complete Stand-Alone Unit
Promethean says that the unit is 66% less expensive to run than other refrigerators and is intended to be a "complete, stand alone rural refrigeration system". From their wesbite"

Our vision is to develop a complete, stand-alone rural refrigeration system that stimulates businesses, reduces dependency on fossil fuels and increases the quality of life in emerging markets by enabling its users to reliably store food, vaccines and other perishable items.

More at :: Promethean Power Systems and :: Cleantech
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