The Efficiency for Access Research and Development Fund launched its second call early in 2019. This call was aimed at applicants developing technologies and products for sustainable cooling in off- and weak grid areas such as fans, refrigeration and cold chain.
Cooling can play a vital role in achieving a range of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) such as SDG’s 2 and 3, which focus on eradicating poverty and contributing to good health. Sustainable cooling technologies can help boost local economies by enabling farmers to gain access to new markets. Cooling can also prevent food waste, helping families to preserve and maintain the quality of their food. Additionally, access to space cooling provides respite for families as the climate warms.
Funding to the value of £1.67m from UK aid and the IKEA Foundation was awarded to 13 organisations focused on cooling technologies.
About the projects
The winning projects were sustainable cooling technologies and products that can be made accessible in off- and weak-grid areas. These were:
- Amped Innovation – Developing an affordable solar fridge/freezer and ice maker to increase the accessibility of cooling to those living off-grid areas
- ColdHubs – Improving the reliability and affordability of refrigeration by developing ColdHubs
- Devidayal Solar Solutions – Creating a transportable, solar powered cold chain to enable local farmers to reach new markets helping to address food wastage and alleviate poverty
- Equatorial Power – Developing a cold chain catalyst for Idjwi Island, creating economic opportunities, improving health and preserving food catalyst
- Fosera GMBH & CO KGAA – Working to make Peltier coolers efficient through solar technology, therefore creating a cheap but efficient option for cooling.
- Greenlight Planet – cost and efficient 24-hour refrigerator solutions for off- and weak- grid residents and small business owners helping to prevent food waste and create income generating opportunities
- Harness Energy – Creating an efficient, solar powered, cooling fan for those living in rural, informal settlements in Pakistan, to replace inefficient temporary fans that are neither cost or energy efficient
- Instituto de Sistemas e Robótica - University of Coimbra – Producing a super-efficient, affordable refrigerator for off grid settings, powered by solar panels so it can charge during the day to work through the night
- Phase Change Material Products LTD – highly efficient and reliable refrigeration using phase change materials
- Promethean Power Systems – Using thermal energy to power batteries to chill milk, replacing inefficient and unreliable diesel powered generators. This will make chilling more accessible and efficient for dairy farmers
- Refrigeration Developments and Testing LTD (RD&T) – Transferring the cool temperatures that occurs naturally in arid countries during the night to create cooling within appliances.
- Smart Villages Research Groups Ltd – Working to improve the efficiency and affordability of a cold storage solution in Uganda, increasing the accessibility to allow for more users
- Solar Cooling Engineering – Develop key cooling components that can be built locally by small-scale farmers. This reduces costs and allows the cooling systems to be adapted to the individual’s needs.
The projects will include field trials to take place in a number of countries over the next two years, including Uganda and Pakistan. The last project was completed in March 2023.