Direct drive solar coolers

P. H. Pedersen*, I. Katic*, J. K. Jensen*, W. B. Markussen*, H. Moeller*, C. Cording*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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For many years, photovoltaic power has been used in areas without grid electricity for vaccine refrigerators with a lead-acid battery to store electric energy and to provide the start current for the compressor. The problem with this technology is that the lifetime of the battery is short due to deep discharging of the battery during periods with low irradiance and high ambient temperature. The development of solar “direct drive” refrigerators started in 1999 at Danish Technological Institute (DTI). It was demonstrated that the energy density of ice produced by a compressor is at the same magnitude as the lead-acid battery. As of to date (January 2019), 40 direct drive vaccine coolers from eight different manufacturers are listed on the website of the World Health Organization (WHO), with the technology being one of the fastest growing technologies in the vaccine cold chain. This paper describes the status and new development and discusses how the technology can be used for other purposes in the future. The paper also discuss how remote monitoring can help to prevent destruction of vaccines by early warning and automatic call for service.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 25th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration
PublisherInternational Institute of Refrigeration
Publication date2019
Article number1024
ISBN (Electronic)9782362150357
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event25th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 24 Aug 201930 Aug 2019


Conference25th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration
SponsorFrascold, Tourisme Montréal, Cemafroid Tecnea, Club des Ambassadeurs du Palais des Congres de Montreal, Emerson
Internet address
SeriesRefrigeration Science and Technology

Bibliographical note

Copyright © IIF/IIR
Published with the authorization of the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR):


  • Direct drive
  • Isobutane
  • Natural refrigerant
  • Photovoltaic
  • Remote monitoring
  • Vaccine coolers


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