Affordable solar photovoltaic-powered freezer for fish and meat storage
About the project
UK-registered Partner: King’s College London – Wei He
Africa-registered Partner: ColdHubs Ltd – Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu
Fisheries, cattle, and goats constitute major sources of livelihood in Nigeria. In 2014, 713,036 people were engaged in fisheries with 21% of this total being women. Currently, Nigeria produces over 1 million metric tons of fish, but 30% is lost to spoilage, due to the lack of a suitable/reliable cold chain. Goats and cattle take the lead as the most slaughtered meat.
Ice blocks are commonly used for preserving meat to lower its temperature and thus to extend its shelf-life. Each seller required more than 80kg of ice blocks daily, which is highly cost-intensive, unhygienic, and environmentally unsustainable.
The project aims to create a sustainable solution for fish and meat storage potentially with vegetable and fruits in Nigeria through a new partnership between the King’s College London (UK), ColdHubs Ltd. (Nigeria), and the University of Oxford (UK). We developed and optimised components and systems of cold energy storage at sub-zero temperature to improve ColdHubs’ capability in solar- powered products for fish/meat storage, in addition to their current business on cold storage of vegetables and fruits.
To minimise the cost, we 1) developed an engineering design tool that optimally sizes PV-freezer systems with site-specific inputs; and 2) developed low-cost phase change materials into the PV-freezer design for replacing batteries. In addition to regular discussions, we also visited ColdHubs in Nigeria and organised several stakeholder engagement activities to present and discuss our innovation with stakeholders for further customisation and optimisation.
Learn more about the project in this recording from our recent GCRF AgriFood Africa Project Showcase event.