Ensuring vaccine temperature stability in rapidly growing urban areas including transient convolutions where power is minimal or unavailable
Provide solar cooling for vaccines, but also habitats and food produce, building healthy environments when rapid urbanisation occurs.
Robert and Michael
in the Lab at Imperial College London talk of what they are passionate about and why. Addressing the ‘Energy Trilemma’, an index applied to all countries, ‘Energy Security’, ‘Energy Equity (accessibility and affordability)’ and Environmental Sustainability’. Comparatively, ranking and Tri-Ratings of UK No5 AAA. Kenya No94 BDC, Ethiopia No110 DDC and Tanzania No121 DDD.
Sustainable supply of vaccines is affected by all three factors, so impacting rapid urbanisation events.
The global refugee population from Syria has continued to be the largest, reaching 6.5 million and was still growing, having increased by 180,300 in the first half of 2018 alone. Most other new displacements were due to conflicts in sub- Saharan Africa. There were 111,700 new displacements from South Sudan, followed by 74,700 from dRC, 43,200 from Nigeria, 24,800 from the Central African Republic, 15,300 from Sudan and 11,700 from Eritrea
The trauma and problems created by the need to move away from ones original homeland (even if within it) is bad enough, but add to that the challenges faced when trying to settle safely in a region already burdened with stretched infrastructure and resources. Rapid provision of vaccine and medicine is vital, and more than likely in regions compromised by lack of, or unreliable provision of electricity, which is normally required for vaccine temperature control, & other things.
Dadaab is currently home to over 250,000 refugees, so largest in Africa but also the World. Made up of several camps, the challenges are multiple and diverse. Health provision a key one of course, how to protect, vaccinate and medicate the population one vey important aspect? Solar Polar can help provide vaccine cool control, food preservation, also as many are provided with digital communication tools solar thermal generation can be added to the mix too.
Credits: DFID, UNHCR
Franciose, a fourteen year old Congolese girl, dropped out of school having to flee her home because of internal displacement. To meet basic needs she works to extract and then carry sand from Lake Tanganyika to construction sites.
She and so many like her will need access to equitable healthcare in her new urban environment, as will any future family they may have later in life.
Credits: UNHCR/ Colin Delfosse
A container fitted out as a trial cool room used to test modules at various pressures and settings, run for over a year now and has provided valuable information to allow optimisation and development. This is in Ahmedabad in India at our Indian partner Mamata's manufacturing facilities.
As the sun sets in Ahmedabad one may think "Ah well there goes the cooling, along with the sun!", but we have ways to utilise already captured cooling to maintain temperature even though its dark, without needing expensive batteries. We know we can maintain safe temperatures for 3days without good sunlight.
Helping to ensure supply of temperature sensitive vaccines, even in regions or settlements with overburdened, unreliable or even no electricity at all. On top of that it can be used to cool rooms and perishable food stores as well.
Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one to two sentences (required 350 Characters)
Solar Polar will provide the transformative Solar Thermal solution that will have a great impact on the way fast growing Urban populations cope with settling, especially with health and well being in mind. The vaccine and medicine protected where it is most needed, often in areas without sound infrastructure and services like electricity.
Explain the innovation (2,500 characters)
As I write this the world will be aware of the latest impact of Cyclone Idai, devastating massive territories in East Africa, affecting thousands of people.
Imagine if only we could be ready right NOW, to mobilise containers set up for delivering and maintaining the vital vaccine and medicines needed for example. Imagine each region having this available and each unaffected region able to contribute as a collective.
Vast populations live in regions of the world where electricity provision is unreliable or even non-existent, especially when all of a sudden people have to mobilise, impacted by disaster or conflict. When as much as 75% of vaccines and medicines can be rendered unusable because of inconsistent critical temperature control, ideally +3 to +10 degrees. For example by Freeze Damage say in Ice Boxes. Solar Polar's technology was originally conceived as a solution to ensure vaccine stability. It has also evolved into a system that can provide cool air, warm air, potentially non-potable water in humid regions which with the addition of minerals can be made drinkable. With the extra advantages of doing so without electricity, has no moving parts (minimum maintenance), silent and emits no CO2 or other Greenhouse Gasses. Produces the cheapest watt of cooling available today.
The benefit are multiple, vaccine integrity, also crop/produce chilling at point of production or domestic storage (if Greenhouse Gasses emitted by wasted rotten food was counted a country it would be the 3rd largest),
Using the free power of the Sun the equipment utilises a revolutionary Solar Thermal patented technology (not Photovoltaic panels that produce power to then run equipment), primarily to provide cooling.
Not only can we maintain vaccines then, but chill the room and chill the food purchased to stop spoilage. Imagine the holistic health benefits for all. A healthier environment and nutrition as well.
Our solution can be used in ways that benefit the urban population, the people and organisations helping them. All without damaging our environment which needs protecting also. We need to protect the planet as well as the people as if we do not, more suffering will abound and all will be lost. It needs an holistic approach, which we believe we have.
Which part(s) of the world does this innovation target?
As can be seen by the UNHCR map above there are rapidly growing Urban communities in many regions of the world, in this case driven by refugees. As of 30 June 2018, UNHCR reported a total population of concern of 70.4 million people. The countries and regions are multiple and shift with events.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
We will work with government bodies, NGOs and any organisation capable of impacting the issues faced. An example is the research and partnership with our Indian partners Mamata, where we are conducting trials in Ahmedabad, in the first instance focused on the chilling of milk at the farm as up to 50% of milk produced is thrown away because there is a lack of cooling affordable to the farmer, so the very start of the cool chain is broken already.
How is your idea unique? (750 characters)
This is a Solar Thermal solution not Photovoltaic, it has no moving parts (low maintenance) and silent in operation, does not need electricity, creates no CO2. The elements within it do not need replenishing and will still exist 50 years from now. According to the World Health Organisation photovoltaic vaccine storage systems have only on average a 17month lifespan, which is not enough for sustainable longterm use.
Creates cooling, and is free to run as solar powered. Also potentially heating, hot water, grey water in humid climates and if then treated drinkable. A solar thermal charger for phones/tech.
Developed in part at Imperial College London, the UK’s premier science university and LSBU with registered office in Peterborough UK.
What is the name of your organization
Solar Polar. A UK company.
Explain your organization (250 characters)
We design solar thermal technology that can be used to allow the free resource of the sun to produce cooling for many applications. All our work is focused on protecting the planet and hence the people on it. Vaccine protection being paramount.
Type of Submitter
We are a For-Profit Startup or Startup Social Enterprise
Engineering and Scientific design organisation.
Gender and Diversity (500 characters)
By providing ability to keep foodstuff chilled, preventing the need to trek and shop and cook all day, freeing the cook, usually the women, to do other things, education, work, and in this case have more time to seek healthcare and vaccination services. This is still relevant in Urban regions.
We are only a very small group of people, but as we grow we will be open and inclusive to all gender and inclusive in our recruitment policies. Our main drive is equity for all. We can enable this.
Organization Location (less than 250 Characters)
HQ Peterborough UK. Project Partner Mamata in Ahmedabad India.
Size of organization (number of employees):
Scale of organizational work
Global (within 2 or more global regions)
Tell us more about you
We also have a Chairman Stef Kranendijk, Stef is an affiliate partner at SYSTEMIQ and was recently Chairman of the Dutch Sustainability Business Association.
Plus our Finance Director Edward Leek. Edward is a chartered accountant and previously a partner with KPMG. He has international experience having worked in Brazil.
Dr Robert Edwards. Chief Executive and Co-Founder. Dr Robert Phd of ICL London also holds a first class honours degree in Engineering Product Design and a Master’s degree in IT for Product Realisation. Robert worked for Solar Century Ltd where he played a key role in developing their award winning solar thermal/photovoltaic roof tile system. Has worked at the UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change as part of the government’s chief scientific advisor’s science and innovation team.
Michael Reid IMechE. Engineering Director and Co-Founder. Michael is an extremely experienced engineer (Esp. refrigeration), a fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (where he is vice-chair of the Energy, Environment and Sustainability Group). He has a strong track-record in bringing new products from concept to market including the Microgen CHP gas boiler, Hotpoint’s first frost-free fridge freezer range, fluid handling equipment and environmental monitoring equipment.
Professor Graeme Maidment. Technical Advisor. Graeme leads London South Bank University’s research in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) and is renowned as a world leading expert in RAC. His major areas of research and interest have included the cooling of the London Underground, ground source energy systems, refrigerant leakage and emissions, and energy use from RAC systems. Graeme is currently President of the Institute of Refrigeration.
Applying to Gavi INFUSE
Invited to read the challenge brief by OpenIDEO as working with them on another vaccine related one.