Refrigeration

Household refrigeration

For hot, humid climates refrigeration helps preserve perishable foods and keeps drugs at the required temperature. In many developing countries household refrigeration is far beyond the reach of households. However in countries like South Africa where supermarkets and infrastructure exist access to a refrigerator or freezer will reduce trips to supermarkets as well as reduce the overall cost of food.

Refrigerators for Health Centres

Refrigerators are also mandatory for community health centres and hospitals that need to preserve essential vaccines. Traditional refrigeration techniques in developing countries involve the use of kerosene, bottled gas, LPG or paraffin powered refrigerators. All of these methods however require extensive maintenance and supply of spare parts as well as being costly as fuel is constantly needs to be topped up. Reliability is crucial where vaccines and medication are concerned and so a reliable appliance and power supply are essential. Alongside the health concerns LPG, kerosene and paraffin all emit high levels of greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change.

Solar Power for Refrigeration


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Soalr power refrigerated Vaccines, Zambia
With the advances in solar powered technology we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide electricity to remote areas. This means that standard electric fridges can run off of the power generated by solar PV cells. One example of using solar PV is for a health centre in Zambia (Fig.1). Electric refrigerators are by far the most reliable. Whilst this doesn’t yet meet household demands, as the cost of solar panels is still high, it offers a viable alternative for community health centres and possible community based initiatives.

Further Inforamtion:



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Poor People’s Energy Outlook 2010
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  • A practitioner's journal on household energy, stoves and poverty reduction.

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