SimGas Biogas Milk Chiller
The Biogas Milk Chiller provides off-grid biogas-powered milk cooling to smallholder dairy farmers without access to electricity.
The Biogas Milk Chiller provides off-grid biogas-powered milk cooling on-farm, allowing smallholder dairy farmers without access to electricity to store, deliver, and sell the highest possible quality of raw milk and increase their income. The Biogas Milk Chiller is capable of cooling between 2.5 and 10 Liters from 35ºC to 4ºC within 3 hours, meeting international standards.
Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia
SimGas has partnered with BoPInc, Mueller and SNV on the Biogas Milk Chiller project.
Organizations such as EEP, OFID, Powering agriculture, USAID, BMZ, Sida, OPIC, Duke Energy, Ideo.org and ASME are supporting the project.
The price is not yet defined because the product is in its prototype phase.
Smallholder dairy farmers without access to electricity.
This product is currently in the prototyping phase and not yet manufactured at scale.
The holding volume, measured in liters
Length of time it takes to cool products, measured in hours
Time the products remain cold, measured in hours
Is there a way to control temperature?
Maximum internal temperature, measured in degrees Celsius
The materials used in construction
Does the product prevent insects from entering the chamber?
What is the medium for cooling?
- Off-grid; biogas-powered
- Cooling capacity between 2.5 and 10 Liters; sufficient for >80% of all dairy farmers in East Africa
- Cools fast: from 35ºC to 7ºC within 4 hours
- Runs on any type of domestic anaerobic digester.
- Affordable with milk payback scheme.
- Farmers feed the biogas system with cow manure on a daily basis.
- Using absorption cooling technology, heat from biogas combustion is used to generate cold. This cold is stored in an innovative compact storage system during the day and charges the system for a milk cooling cycle.
The end user divides the evening milk produce over two five liter milk cans, places them into the holders and starts the cooling cycle.
SimGas representative. Interview with representative.
Unknown. However, this product comes with a 2 year warranty.
- Cools 7x faster than a household refrigerator (meeting International standards) at farm level
- Clean energy – biogas – is produced and used to power the milk chiller.
- Works independently from the grid: it always works.
- Saves time: instead of delivering milk twice a day, small dairy farmers can deliver once a day.
- Helps small dairy farmers to meet quality standards required to access the formal sector, which increases their income, increases milk supply and thereby ensures food security.
- Supports the transformation of the smallholder dairy sector in emerging markets from quantity- to quality-based performance, as milk cooling at farm level significantly increases milk quality.
- Part of an integral, self-sustaining system: cows produce manure, which is fed into a biogas digester where it is converted into biogas and slurry. Biogas is used for cooking, cooling and other appliances. Slurry is used as high-quality organic fertiliser, increasing crop and cow fodder production, manure production, milk production, and ultimately income. Meanwhile, biogas reduces carbon emissions with 5-10 metric ton CO2-equivalent per user per year.
- Cooling at farm level will result in benefits to the dairy cooperatives and dairy processors.
SimGas’ R&D team tested 4 prototypes at 4 dairy farmers in Tanzania which demonstrated that the BMC complies with the international milk cooling standard: cooling raw milk down from 35 degrees Celsius to 4 degrees Celsius within 3 hours’ time.
Biogas is primarily composed of methane and carbon dioxide, which pose safety concerns if inhaled. Other safety concerns include explosion, asphyxiation, disease, and hydrogen sulfide poisoning.
Simgas provides a variety of biogas systems that are fully integrated into farm solutions for rural households in developing countries.
Seybolt, E., Zhong, C., 2017. Design report on SimGas’ Biogas Milk Chiller: Challenges with applying sustainability and usability when developing for the East-African market from a small company in Europe. Kth Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
Edwin, M., Sekhar, S.J., 2015. Thermal performance of milk chilling units in remote villages working with the combination of biomass, biogas and solar energies. Energy, 91, pp. 842-851.
Edwin, M., Sekhar, S.J., 2014. Techno-economic studies on hybrid energy based cooling system for milk preservation in isolated regions. Energy conversion and management, 86, pp. 1023-1030.
Dijkink, B., Esveld, E., Broeze, J., Axmann, H., Vollebregt, M., 2019. Effects of milk cooling: A case study on milk supply chain for a factory in Ethiopia. CCAFS Working Paper No. 288, Wageningen, the Netherlands.
The prototypes are tested in the field at the target regions.
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