Updated on December 16, 2023


Created on September 11, 2019

Cold Hubs

Upcoming Update

ColdHubs is a modular assembled walk-in cold room that is powered using solar energy to provide off-grid storage and preservation of perishable food products.

Developed By Unknown
Content Partners


Product Description

ColdHubs is a plug-and-play modular assembled walk-in cold room that is powered using solar energy to provide off-grid storage and preservation of perishable food products. It is designed to operate in rural rugged terrains where it responds to the problem of post-harvest losses in fruits, vegetables and other perishable food. They are installed in markets and farms within reach of farmers and retailers.

Target SDGs

SDG 1: No Poverty

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

ColdHubs currently partners with GIZ, Factore and Fledge. ColdHubs is also partnering with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to set up an off-grid cold storage system in a Refugee Market in Mtwara Region of Tanzania. Aga Khan Foundation East Africa is the project's local partner.

Competitive Landscape

Manufacturing/Building Method

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Users can obtain the product from the ColdHubs website. ColdHubs also have a pay-as-you-store model where smallholder farmers pay $0.50 USD per crate per day to store their produce.

Distributions to Date Status

Over 50 units sold interview with representative

Storage capacity (L)

Each Hub contains approximately 2–3 tons of perishable food arranged in at least 150 units of 30kg plastic crates stacked on the floor.

Time to cool (hr)

Interview with representative

Cooling retention (hr)

21 days (504 Hours)

Temperature control


Minimum internal temperature (°C)

Materials of construction

The walk-in cold room is made of 120 mm insulating cold room panels to retain the cold.

Protection from insect entry

Refrigeration cycle catalyst

Design Specifications

Design specifications include:

  • The exterior dimensions are 3.048 m x 3.048 m x 2.1336 m (LxWxH).
  • The stainless floor is made with 0.8 – 1 mm aluminum.
  • The energy efficient monoblock refrigeration unit is connected to a set of inverters and batteries that supplies energy. These batteries are charged by solar panels generating about 5.7 kWh of energy.
  • ColdHubs are guaranteed to provide autonomous refrigeration 24/7 without grid connection.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

On implementation of the pay-as-you-store model, ColdHubs recruits and trains locals (mainly women) for its management and operation.

Replacement Components



Between 20-25years Interview with representative

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

  • Employs female small scale farmers by recruiting and training them to work as ColdHubs operators.
  • Reduces daily labour costs for harvesting and transportation from 5 hours per day to 1 hour per day through eliminating the need to return to the farm to store unsold, harvested produce or to harvest additional produce for sale.
  • Acts as a warehouse, providing farmers, an opportunity to store their products when there is product glut in the market and sell later when prices increase.

Vetted Performance Status



No known safety hazards are related to this product.

Complementary Technical Systems


Academic Research and References

“ColdHubs: Solar-Powered, Cooling-as-a-Service Solution | Knowledge Hub | Circle Lab.”  Article
Food Planet Prize. “ColdHubs – A Cool New Way to Tackle Food Loss.” Article

Compliance with regulations


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