In developing countries, refrigeration can be both expensive and inaccessible. Lack of refrigeration is one of the causes of high spoilage rates, something which is financially devastating for the rural poor. Difficulties in refrigeration prevent farmers from reaching end-markets. It deprives families of hard-earned money, and lastly, can lead to long term health and nutrition problems. The UN estimates post-harvest losses as high as 45% for fruits/vegetables, with a total loss of $4 billion dollars in Africa annually.
Our company has developed a low-cost, solution for food preservation. Using our patent-pending PhaseTek, a specialized synthetic fabric, we harness the phenomenon of evaporative cooling to preserve fruits and vegetables stored inside without using any electricity at all. Our first product, the Fenik Yuma 60L, is a lightweight and collapsible evaporative cooler. It is the world’s first commercializable zero-energy (requiring absolutely no external electricity) refrigeration device, ideal for low-income, off-grid areas. Evaporative cooling as a technique has been employed successfully for centuries in products like the Pot-in-Pot refrigerator or Coolgardie safe. Proven to be effective for cooling at the point of production, these devices have been known to triple or quadruple the shelf-life of most perishables. Using state-of-the art materials and improved design, we’ve created a more effective and scalable clean energy refrigeration solution, enabling the cold chain to reach farther than ever before.
Our target market is people who live in rural areas with limited access to electricity. These people may be connected to the grid, but electricity may be intermittent or too expensive to justify using a conventional refrigerator. Others may have no electricity at all. Our first product, the Fenik Yuma 60L, was designed with this market in mind. It is lightweight, flat-packing for ease of transport, and easy to use. While other alternative-refrigeration technologies - Promethean Power, SunDanzer, SunChill, Coolify - can cost thousands of dollars to build and install, our units are small, portable and will retail between US$80 and US$140, making them affordable even at the smallholder farmer level.
And while the Yuma 60L will meet the needs of the consumer market, we plan to continue developing our PhaseTek material for different applications: including larger dimension for storage devices for post-harvest vegetables, and as a modular panel that can be fit on trucks for low-cost refrigerated transport. Truly, the world will NEED to increase food productivity by 2050 to keep up with the rapid population growth, and our technology provides a feasible and also eco-friendly means of doing so.
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