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Reference Number EP/T015535/1
Title Solar Powered Horticulture Cold Chains (Sol-Tech)
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy, Solar heating and cooling (including daylighting)) 80%;
Energy Efficiency(Transport) 20%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields AREA STUDIES (Middle Eastern and African Studies) 5%;
BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 25%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 20%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 50%;
Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Other Systems Analysis) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Technology acceptance) 10%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 20%;
Principal Investigator Professor SA Tassou
No email address given
Sch of Engineering and Design
Brunel University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 October 2019
End Date 31 March 2022
Duration 30 months
Total Grant Value £779,377
Industrial Sectors
Region London
Programme GCRF GRTA Programme Grants
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor SA Tassou , Sch of Engineering and Design, Brunel University (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Nairobi, Kenya (0.000%)
Project Contact , Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Kenya (0.000%)
Project Contact , Phase Change Material Products Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Enso Impact (0.000%)
Project Contact , Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (0.000%)
Project Contact , Government of Haryana (0.000%)
Project Contact , Netune Atlantic (0.000%)
Project Contact , Tanzania Horticulture Assciation (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Globally food chains experience substantial losses which for horticulture products can be as high as 70% of production. This represents 8 percent of global Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and substantial loss of resources such as water and energy. Food losses and waste result from to many reasons, which include inadequate infrastructure and lack or unreliable energy supply, lack of skills and access to markets. A key contributor to food loss in developing countries and in particular Africa and India is the very limited availability of cold food chains for the preservation and temperature controlled distribution of fresh produce to markets.The Sol-Tech project aims to make a contribution to addressing the food waste challenge and key Sustainable Development Challenges and Goals, including halving food waste by 2030, providing access to energy for all and alleviation of poverty and malnutrition. This will be achieved by building on previous and current research to develop to commercialisation stage an innovative but affordable solar powered modular fresh food cold storage and first mile distribution system for application in areas with no or limited and unreliable access to the electricity grid. Sol-Tech will involve collaboration between academic and industry partners from the UK, Africa and India to ensure that the technology development and commercialisation is informed by developing country needs and local political, socioeconomic and market conditions.The innovation potential and impact of the technology are substantial. Major innovations include: i) significant, up to 40% reduction of the thermal load of food transport refrigeration insulated boxes; ii) the use of solar energy to power on-board refrigeration systems and hybrid electrical and thermal energy storage to eliminate fossil fuel demand for precooling, storage and distribution of fresh produce; iii) adaptable on-board microclimate control and communication system to minimise transpiration losses, increase shelf life and maximise product quality at point of delivery.The project will also investigate and develop appropriate business models and commercialisation strategies tailored to specific local markets to ensure successful product commercialisation and maximum impact.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 11/10/21