The Cooltainer is a solution to a clear and observed problem in markets with limited or no cold-chain, such as in West Africa. Many marketplaces are currently already served with a cold storage solution, to keep produce, meat or fish cold or frozen, but these cold storages usually operate on diesel powered generators or unreliable grid electricity. Generators consume great amounts of diesel making for a very costly and polluting system while the consumption of grid electricity for West African cold storages also has its impact on the environment as well as finances.
The Cooltainer presents a zero-carbon and zero-electricity cold storage solution – using sustainable and cost-free solar thermal energy (heat) to maintain cold or freezing temperatures (5C to -5C) in a shipping container-size storage unit. The underlying technology is a methanol activated carbon based solar adsorption refrigeration module that is mounted onto the unit. It seeks to diminish the use of conventional power sources and replace them for a clean alternative one instead. The concept aims to generate a big improvement in terms of environmental sustainability all the while proposing an attractive business case.