Dulas, a British solar refrigeration manufacturer and renewable energy specialist, has launched its new VC50SDD refrigerator, using its Freeze-Free technology to ensure vaccines are never exposed to harmful sub-zero temperatures. In line with, and improving upon, Dulas’ existing range of solar-powered refrigerators, the VC50SDD delivers the most compact and reliable cold space possible.
As the World Health Organization (WHO) ramps up its Global Vaccine Action Plan, which aims to achieve 90% immunization coverage in each of its target countries by 2020, ensuring vaccines are kept cool during transit and storage will prove crucial to the scheme’s success. However, for many vaccines, freezing caused by poor temperature control can be more damaging than extreme heat.
In addition, there is a growing need for more flexible and adaptable vaccine storage systems, particularly in rural areas that require more energy-, cost- and space-efficient solutions.
In response to these challenges, Dulas’ VC50SDD delivers many of the advantages of the company’s larger models, but its smaller size and more compact design ensures it can better meet the needs of vaccination centers in rural locations.
The VC50SDD incorporates Dulas’ Solar Direct Drive technology—developed with funding from a joint EU and Welsh government R&D project—to power the refrigerator, while its Freeze-Free technology keeps vaccines cool without risk of them freezing.
Its 5° to 43° C extended ambient operating temperature range ranks it above many of its direct market competitors and, despite its smaller size, the VC50SDD boasts a storage capacity of 52.5 liters.
As durable as it is compact, the VC50SDD is equipped with all-metal, high strength hinges and heavy duty castors to enable easy handling. In addition, the option to add Dulas’ integrated solar socket means it can also be used to charge a mobile phone or temperature monitoring equipment.
In order to achieve its WHO pre-qualified status, the VC50SDD underwent rigorous quality, safety and efficacy assessments, designed to ensure that vaccines and immunization-related equipment meet the highest global standards. This process ensures that procurement agencies can make informed purchasing decisions, and it helps improve heath outcomes worldwide.
“We have been driving innovation in vaccine refrigeration since 1982, but recently it became clear that the cold chain market was looking for more versatile storage options,” said David Elliot, Senior Engineer at Dulas.
“In response, we developed the VC50SDD to enable secure and cost-effective vaccine storage in remote areas,” said Elliot. “We’ve managed to pack many of the features of a larger device into this more space-efficient model, making it easier to transport and operate in some of the world’s most remote regions. We believe it will provide a considerable boost to global immunization infrastructure, as it is better suited to operating in rural communities than any other refrigerator currently available.”