Milk is one of the largest agricultural produces and is a source of regular income for dairy farmers. However, milk is highly susceptible to spoilage and needs to be chilled immediately after milking to 4 deg C. It is therefore important that the milk is chilled as close to the source as possible.
Traditional organised dairy collection requires chilling and storing of milk through Bulk Milk Coolers in the villages and transportation of the chilled milk to the processing centres in insulated tankers. Chilling of milk in the villages requires access to continuous electricity or dependence on diesel generators as back-up. Installing an industrial milk refrigeration system paired with a diesel generators increases both the capital and operating costs. As a result, milk chilling is only justified in large villages where tankers can collect volumes of 2000 litres or more.
Given the poor state of power supply in developing nations it is extremely rare to find chilling infrastructure at the village level. Small volumes and the need of diesel generators due to the erratic grid supply leads to an increase in unit level chilling costs. Due to these constraints farmers and aggregators are forced to transport the un-chilled milk in cans over longs distances at ambient temperature. This results in rapid bacterial growth and increases the risk of spoilage. In many cases famers are forced into distress sale of milk at very low rates to avoid a total loss.
To solve the above problem we need a solution which can chill milk at the source, the village, in the absence of a regular grid supply and transport it in a chilled state to the processing centres. The solution will have to be independent of grid supply and must ensure that the raw milk is chilled to 4 deg C as quickly as possible.
Promethean's Mobile Milk Chiller provides for collection and simultaneous chilling of small volumes of milk from multiple villages. The Mobile Milk Chiller is based on our patented "Thermal Storage System" which converts electrical or solar energy into cold energy. This stored "Cold Energy" can then be used to chill the milk during transit.
The Mobile Milk Chiller is charged at a central location using either grid supply or solar power. Once charged the van moves from village to village collecting milk and chilling it during transit. As there is no compressor on the vehicle the chilling of milk takes place even if the engine of the van is switched off. The van moves to 8-10 villages in 1 route and the milk is completely chilled when it returns to the central location. The chilled milk is then unloaded and the "Thermal Storage System" is charged for the next trip.
Since there is no village level infrastructure needed, our solution makes it both logistically tactical and economically viable to bring refrigeration closer to the farmer, thus expanding their access to the market and connecting millions of farmers in remote villages.