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Title of the Project: Solar Based Vaccine Refrigerator

Brief Description

The transportation of vaccines to remote villages, especially those lacking proper cooling arrangements, presents a significant challenge. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that nearly half of vaccines are rendered ineffective due to spoilage during transit to distant locations, primarily because of the absence of adequate cooling facilities. Currently, the reliance on traditional methods, such as ice boxes, has proven to be cumbersome and inefficient.

In response to this critical issue, a capstone design team has undertaken the development of an innovative solution: an affordable and robust solar-powered refrigerator designed specifically for vaccine storage. This vaccine refrigerator places a strong emphasis on simplicity in its design, making it easy to manufacture, maintain, and operate on a daily basis. It employs widely available alcohol as a refrigerant and boasts a design devoid of any moving parts. Furthermore, the manufacturing process relies on common materials and straightforward assembly techniques. Once initially vacuum-charged, the refrigerator is engineered to function without the need for maintenance for a substantial three to five-year period.

The project's primary objectives are as follows: first, to create a refrigeration system capable of consistently maintaining the required temperature range of 2-8˚C, which is ideal for preserving vaccines. Second, the solution must be designed in a way that it can be constructed, serviced, and operated using locally available technology and resources within these remote areas. This approach aims to extend the shelf life of life-saving vaccines while keeping costs low, addressing the unique needs of rural dispensaries.

The anticipated benefits of this project are substantial. Upon successful development, a prototype of the Solar Vaccine Refrigerator will be provided to rural communities in the vicinity. Through rigorous testing and input from the beneficiaries, any necessary improvements will be made, and if required, the entire system may be redesigned by the university. This innovative refrigerator not only offers an economical solution but is also practical and technoeconomically feasible. It reduces the dependency on traditional cooling systems and conventional power sources, as the design harnesses solar energy for operation. The plan is to distribute this solar-based device in remote, underserved areas with limited accessibility. This innovation will significantly alleviate the burden on villagers by providing them with a compact and efficient cooling solution. Due to its compact design and reliance on renewable energy sources, it is poised to gain popularity quickly in neighboring regions, offering a lifeline for vaccine storage and delivery in remote areas.

Name of the Principal Investigator: Dr. Daya Shankar


Name of the Co-Principal Investigator:  Dr. Beauty Pandey

Current Progress in Brief:
The vaccine storage project has advanced through initial stages, completing market research, concept design, virtual testing, and prototype fabrication. Field testing has validated its functionality, prompting minor adjustments. The refrigerator maintains an optimal temperature range of 2-8°C, powered by both solar and direct electricity, with minimal maintenance requirements for 3-5 years. Presently, the project is in final field testing, integrating solar panels. Next steps involve refining the design, creating user and maintenance guides, and gathering community feedback. Plans for scale-up include collaboration with Woxsen University Hyderabad and government agencies to disseminate the technology widely, aiming to reduce vaccine spoilage and enhance health outcomes in remote areas.

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