Solar cooling device for small-scale dairy farmers

Milk Cooler A solar-powered milk cooling device, developed by the University of Kassel’s private sector partner ‘Simply Solar’, was recently shipped to Kenya for further testing in the field. A video explains the technical components and their functioning.


Small-scale dairy farmers in Kenya often work under conditions where power supply is either absent or unreliable. This is an important constraint to improving milk quality and reducing losses; quality as well as storage life can be considerably enhanced if the raw milk is rapidly cooled down to 4° C after milking.


This is why Heike Hoedt and Wolfgang Scheffler from ‘Simply Solar’, a private sector partner of the University of Kassel’s Agricultural Engineering Department, engaged in developing an off-grid milk cooling solution for small-scale dairy producers.


The solar-powered milk cooling device consists basically of a commercially available fridge, two solar panels and two separate milk containers of which each has room for 20 l of milk and a cooling cartridge. Ice packs are used instead of batteries for storing energy and magnifying the cooling power of the fridge. Furthermore, waste heat that emerges during the cooling process is used for generating hot water that is needed for cleaning milk equipment and containers.


This prototype will now be installed at the campus of Egerton University, Kenya, for further testing and training purposes. A demonstration video explains functioning and handling of the solar-powered milk cooling device.


Watch the video here