Marketability: Aim of the Sol-FrigoSys program is to design, improve and experimentally study under realistic conditions a hybrid autonomous cooling chamber with solar cooling technology. Based on the targets and the anticipated results it is expected to move beyond the state of the art of the so far presented systems, introducing a unit of high commercial value in the field of food, agriculture and medicine-vaccine industry, especially in areas around the world where there is no or there is limited access to reliable electricity. In these areas in the past years UNICEF launched programs of humanitarian aid in order to satisfy people’s needs in food and vaccines, nevertheless most of the times results were not the anticipated ones. Additionally, participating companies from the private sector will gain valuable experience and knowledge enabling a set of more up to date set of best practices to be proposed as well as guidelines for development of similar solar cooling systems. Furthermore, these companies will gain know-how for applying the incorporated technology to meet different demands based on the needs of the market (necessary temperature and cold storage period, volume of products, climate conditions etc.).
Innovation: The innovative nature of the Sol-FrigoSys research program stems from the design, development and optimization of a prototype hybrid autonomous solar cooling chamber incorporating three different technological solutions: i) P/V with batteries, ii) “ice battery” with phase change material (PCM), and iii) a 2-stage cooling system seeking to incorporate the use of CO2 to improve efficiency and environmental footprint. The system is sought to operate autonomously relying on batteries or “ice battery”, have modular and quality structure, be easy to repair and incorporate a monitoring system of the internal temperature to ensure necessary refrigeration conditions in the interior for food or vaccines. In this context, the proposed system is a breakthrough in its field.
Manufacturability is based on the wide expertise of PROTERGON S.A. and AIR COOLING SYSTEMS in the areas of photovoltaics, renewable energy infrastructures, design and build of cooling systems and refrigerated chambers. Both companies possess the necessary know-how to assist successful manufacturing of the prototype. Sol-FrigoSys research program seeks to test and validate an autonomous cooling chamber using novel solar cooling technology under realistic conditions in order to be characterized as a viable option under technical, financial and commercial criteria. Participating partners will determine: thermal and cooling energy demands, the desirable temperature range inside the cooling chamber, the dimensions of the cooling chamber, the amount of PV modules needed, the specifications of the novel “ice battery” to ensure autonomous operation in case of reduced performance of the PV modules and the necessary measuring equipment. The implemented technological solutions will focus on minimizing losses and downsizing the overall cost of the research program.