Abstract

Each year, more than 3 million people die from diseases that can be prevented by widely available vaccines. Approximately 1.5 million of these deaths are in children less than 5 years old. The primary reason for these deaths is that vaccines must be stored at a specific temperature at all times. The goal of our project is to create a solar powered refrigerator that can be used for vaccine storage in developing nations - particularly in areas with limited access to the power grid. As per guidelines set by the World Health Organization, the fridge will maintain an ambient temperature of between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius and will be able to maintain said temperature without access to solar power for up to 5 days. We hope to achieve this goal through the use of thermoelectric cooling elements, ultra-effective insulation and a passive heat exchange system. A wireless-enabled embedded system will monitor and control the refrigerator's temperature, duty cycle and other key features. The entire system can be powered via a solar panel array, the battery backup or grid power (when it is available).

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