Hyderabad-based firm unveils vaccine freezer that works on solar, wind power

A chiller/freezer equipped to run on solar and wind energy thus facilitating storage of vaccines, including those for COVID-19, as well as life saving medicines at locations where electricity supply is not stable has been unveiled by Hyderabad-based Rockwell Industries.

It is the first such vaccine freezer to be powered by hybrid renewable energy and has been manufactured indigenously, managing director Ashok Gupta told a virtual media conference after Industries and IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan launched the product, which has been named Chillermill.

A plug and play standalone unit, it is powered by SolarMill, a hybrid (wind and solar) energy solution, manufactured by WindStream Energy Technologies, a release from Rockwell said. Comprising Savonius vertical axis wind turbines and a solar module, the hybrid renewable system enables the refrigerator to run 24/7 on power stored in batteries.

The WHO PQS (World Health Organisation PQS) has certified the new COVID-19 freezer series. The entire system has been certified by the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER) Hyderabad. Rockwell Industries will be manufacturing the freezer at its facility in Medchal.

According to Mr. Gupta, the company has capacity to manufacture 1,000 units a day and plans to increase the capacity with an investment of ₹100 crore in the next three years. The company has also rolled out a new COVID-19 vaccine freezer series.

“Governments and immunisation programmes rely on a complicated cold chain of freezers and temperature-controlled conditions and Rockwell has developed the much-needed refrigeration technology to address these challenges to preserve vaccine, healthcare products and other deep-freezing applications,” Mr. Ranjan said in the release.

The company, which has two manufacturing facilities here, is in active discussion with leading vaccine players nationally and internationally to supply Chillermill. It also plans to participate in tenders of Central and State governments, public and private enterprises for refrigerators and freezers.

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