Karl Wilton-Smith – Portable Solar Powered Vaccine Refrigerator

Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Design Engineering | 0 comments

Karl Wilton-Smith 


Image of Portable Solar Powered Vaccine Refrigerator

Image of Portable Solar Powered Vaccine Refrigerator

Image of Portable Solar Powered Vaccine Refrigerator

This project was influenced by shocking statistics that over 2.5 million children in third world countries are dying each year due to vaccine preventable deaths (World Health Organization 2013), as a direct consequence of not being immunised. Improper refrigeration during transportation methods results in 50% of vaccines being destroyed before they reach their final destination.

Previously, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation has published figures showing that as many as 151 million vaccine doses have been wasted in developing countries as a result of improper refrigeration. Due to substantial wastage, thermal stabilisation of vaccines has been identified as one of the most essential technologies required to transform immunisation programs in the 21st century, and is seen as a strategic priority for organisations such as United Nations International Child Emergency Fund (UNICEF), The World Health Organization (WHO).

To address this problem, a modern and innovative portable solar powered vaccine refrigerator has been designed to eliminate enormous amounts of wasted vaccines during the cold-chain process.

The motivation behind the use of solar power is due to such little availability of mains electricity in rural locations, this method takes advantage of the plentiful reliable energy source of the sun within target locations around the world. A single 20 Watt and two 10 Watt solar panels provide the product with sustainable energy to generate the required power to cool the 28.3 litres of vaccines between the safe temperature range of +2°C and +8°C in ambient environments of 38°C, using a 33 Watt thermoelectric cooling device.

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