Thermal Analysis of Novel Off-Grid Refrigeration

Company Description

The Sure Chill Company design refrigerators which employ novel cooling methods that are optimized for use in markets where a reliable power supply cannot be guaranteed. Their core product is deployed in harsh environments, such as Africa, for the safe storage of vaccines and other temperature sensitive materials.

Project Details

  • Company: The Sure Chill Company Ltd
  • CPE partner: University of Aberystwyth
  • Location: Ceredigion, Cardiff

Sure Chill have developed a new design for a commercial retail product refrigerator which can operate several days without mains power. They had an urgent need to test their prototype product in an environmental chamber which could simulate the temperature and humidity conditions of an African climate. The key aims for Sure Chill were to confirm the refrigerator’s capability to cool down stored bottles of water, it’s efficiency, and monitor how cool the bottles will stay when mains power has been removed.

To support Sure Chill in a better understanding of the prototype’s performance, quantitative thermal images were taken of the refrigerator at timed intervals, over a range of operating conditions, such as during the initial pulldown when warm water bottles were loaded into the fridge, and during the cooling cycle to identify if any heat leakage from the environment into the refrigerator interior was visible. This visual information was supplemented with direct temperature measurements of the bottles during the entire process.

Following the collaboration with CPE some minor design changes were identified which have led to further improvements to the refrigerator efficiency.

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