Video on cold storage and this project.
Photo slideshow of this project.
Coolrooms and Cool Transport for Small-Scale Farmers
Project Dates: January 2010 to September 2011
Target Countries: Honduras, India, and Uganda
- Cecilia Chi-Ham, University of California, Davis
- Neeru Dubey, Amity University, India
- Royce Gloria Androa, Reach Your Destiny Consult, Ltd., Uganda
- Bal Vipan Chander Mahajan, Punjab Agricultural University, India
- Dinie Espinal-Rueda, Zamorano University, Honduras
- Ron Khosla, Store-it-cool, LLC
Temperature management is the key tool for reducing temperature losses in the developing world. Very few smallholder farmers have access to cooling or cool storage facilities, and even refrigerated transportation is a rarity. The unreliability of local electricity supplies, the expense of conventional coolers, and the lack of technical expertise for the installation and maintenance all have led to the search for alternative solutions such as evaporative cooling systems. Nevertheless, mechanical refrigeration still represents a simple and efficient solution to cooling produce, and is usually the only practical means for cooling to temperatures near freezing. For resource-limited farmers in the developing world, coolrooms and transportation systems employing mechanical refrigeration are economically and practically infeasible. We are testing an innovative system, the CoolBot(TM), which uses an intelligent thermostat system controlling a standard room air conditioner to create a small-scale cooler out of a well-insulated room. Experiments include testing a range of potential insulating materials that might be used in installing or retrofitting coolrooms, evaluation of the CoolBot/window air conditioner combination, and evaluation of the use of photovoltaic panels to power the system. For short-distance transport to local markets, cool transit can be achieved by placing properly cooled produce in a well insulated truck or cart. Studies on novel insulating materials will also be applicable to such transportation systems.
More information about the CoolBot
More information about cooling
Publications on cooling fruits and vegetables from the UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center