Solar milk cooling system as business case

8/18/17, 1:40 PM -

Insufficient cooling systems are among the chief restrictions many small-scale dairy farmers in Africa and other southern regions are confronted with. Quite often spoiled milk cannot be sold. Off-grid specialist Phaesun and University of Hohenheim developed a cost effective solar cooling system, that was honored with the Intersolar Award 2017 for outstanding solar projects.

Rural farmers can make better income with solar cooled milk. Phaesun and University of Hohenheim developed an off-grid system, that refinances itself within three years.
Rural farmers can increase their income with solar cooled milk. Phaesun and University of Hohenheim developed a off-grid system, that refinances itself within three years.

The off-grid system uses solar energy for milk cooling that is based on conventional DC refrigerators being modified into smart icemakers. This is done by aligning cooling-power demand with the hourly solar energy resource, and by substituting batteries with thermal energy storage in the form of ice. The ice-maker produces 12 to 16 kilos of ice per day. A storage volume of 50 kg of ice will last for four days.

20 percent better income

The system allows for raw milk to be stored overnight and transported to collection centers without compromises in quality that would otherwise lead to milk rejection and income loss. Total costs are around 2,700 Euro and the return on investment for the project is calculated to be within three years. “Milk cooling costs are around 0.06 Euro/liter, what is compensated by higher productivity and a better price”, Tobias Zwirner, Managing Director of Phaesun explains. “After three years income increases by 20 percent”.

Kit with a 150W solar module, freezer, battery and isolated milk can

Phaesun offers a Milky Way kit with following components: A freezer with 166 ltr., a solar module with 150 W, a control unit, a battery AGM 65 Ah/12vDC, installation material, cables and connectors, module support structure, an isolated milk can with 40 ltr., plastic cups for 2kg ice each and a blow up LED lamp.

 „The potential social and economic impact of the project and its design as a business case were of special importance to the jury in rewarding this project with the award. The system is especially designed for the needs of farmers in rural areas”, the Intersolar Jury honored the innovative low-cost solution with one of this year`s Intersolar Awards. (HCN) 

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