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DTI – Reliable battery-less solar coolers to store vaccines
EARTO Innovation Awards 2016 – Impact Delivered Category
About 1.5 billion people are living in areas without electricity from grid, where maintaining a temperature between +2°C and +8°C for the storage of vaccines is very challenging. For many years, photovoltaic power has been used for vaccine refrigerators with a lead-acid battery to provide the necessary start-up current. However, the limited-lifetime of the battery due to its deep discharging during periods with low sunshine makes this technology quite costly.
Since 1999, EARTO member DTI has been developing the solar direct drive refrigerators, where the photovoltaic energy is stored in ice instead of a battery, thereby eliminating the expensive and recurrent budgetary constraints of battery replacement.
As of February 2016, 24 direct-drive vaccine coolers from 8 different manufacturers are listed on the WHO Performance Quality Safety website, ensuring the quality of vaccines stored in these products. They are more reliable than previous systems, with a lower vaccine wastage and reduced ecological impact, making it one of the fastest growing technologies in the vaccine cold chain.
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