Solar refrigeration for vaccine storage (Courtesy of Dulas)
British firm Dulas snared the 2017 i-Novo Eco Award for its Solar Socket. The device turns the firm’s solar direct drive (SDD) vaccine refrigerators into a source of electrical power for lamps, fans, cellphones, laptop computers and medical equipment with a USB plug.
USB Solar Socket (Courtesy of Dulas)
The photovoltaic arrays feeding SDD fridges often produce more power than needed. The Socket’s smart control system always favors the cooling requirements for the stored vaccines, but supplies any surplus to the two USB ports and 12V cigarette lighter outlet.
The subsequent reduction in energy consumption is particularly advantageous at remote clinics and other off-grid medical facilities where smartphones serve as test and diagnostic devices, and may constitute an essential emergency link to the outside world.