Solar Cold Rooms: Transforming Storage in Nigeria

With the increase in electricity tariffs and the cost of running generators, traditional cold rooms are becoming increasingly difficult to operate and maintain in Nigeria. In this article we’d be showing you the advantages of solar powered cold rooms over traditional cold rooms and what you stand to gain by building or upgrading your existing storage.

What is a Cold Room?

Cold rooms are storage facilities commonly used for preserving perishable items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and dairy products. These rooms use compressors and refrigerants to maintain low temperatures. The cooling process in a cold room involves removing heat from the room and transferring it to the outside environment. This is achieved by circulating refrigerants through a series of coils and compressors, which work together to lower the temperature.

Traditional cold rooms require constant electricity to power the compressors and maintain the desired temperature. They are typically connected to the main power grid and can be expensive to operate, especially in areas with frequent power outages.

Additionally, traditional cold rooms contribute to carbon emissions and harm the environment due to their reliance on fossil fuels (petrol and diesel) for electricity generation.

Traditional vs Solar Powered Cold Rooms: What's the Difference?

Solar-powered cold rooms, on the other hand, utilize solar energy as a renewable and sustainable power source. These cold rooms are equipped with solar panels that capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. The electricity generated from solar panels is stored in batteries. These batteries are used to power the cooling systems in the cold rooms, eliminating the need for grid electricity. This makes solar-powered cold rooms more energy-efficient and cost-effective in the long run.

Unlike traditional cold rooms, solar-powered cold rooms are not dependent on the main power grid, making them suitable for remote areas with limited access to electricity. They can operate independently and provide reliable storage solutions for agricultural produce and other perishable goods. The good people of Sabongida, a remote farming community in Nasarawa state are currently enjoying the benefits of a solar-powered cold room built by Ecotutu, in partnership with Husk Power Systems.

In addition to their environmental benefits, solar-powered cold rooms also reduce operating costs for businesses, as they do not require expensive electricity bills.

Solar-powered cold rooms also have the potential to reduce post-harvest losses and food waste in Nigeria, as they can ensure the freshness and quality of agricultural produce for longer periods. This makes them an attractive option for small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

The Rise of Solar-Powered Cold Rooms in Nigeria

In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the adoption of solar-powered cold rooms in Nigeria. This can be attributed to several factors, including the increasing awareness of climate change and the need for sustainable solutions. The Nigerian government has also been actively promoting the use of renewable energy sources, including solar power, to address the country’s energy challenges. This has created a favorable environment for the growth of solar-powered cold rooms.

Small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs in Nigeria are recognizing the benefits of solar powered cold rooms in preserving their agricultural produce and reducing post-harvest losses. These cold rooms provide a reliable and efficient storage solution, even in areas with unreliable electricity supply.

The rise of solar-powered cold rooms in Nigeria is not only transforming the storage industry but also contributing to the country’s sustainable development goals.

Impact on Food Preservation and Storage

Solar-powered cold rooms have had a significant impact on food preservation and storage in Nigeria. They have helped reduce post-harvest losses, improve food quality, and increase the availability of fresh produce throughout the year.

With solar-powered cold rooms, farmers in Sabongida, aggregators in Mile 12 and in other major food markets, as well as other businesses in the food supply chain can store their harvest for longer periods, allowing them to sell their produce at favourable market prices. This has contributed to increased income and improved livelihoods for the farming community.

Furthermore, solar-powered cold rooms have facilitated the growth of agribusinesses and improved food security in the country. The Ecotutu hub, located in Mile 12 international market has contributed to the growth of agribusinesses by operating a Cooling as a Service model, where traders and business owners can store their produce at the daily rate of 250 naira per crate. In one year, the hub has preserved over 35,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables. By extending the shelf life of perishable items, these cold rooms ensure a constant supply of fresh food, regardless of seasonal variations.

Overall, the impact of solar-powered cold rooms on food preservation and storage in Nigeria has been transformative, benefiting both farmers and consumers.

Cost-Effectiveness and Sustainability

Solar-powered cold rooms are not only cost-effective but also sustainable in the long run. The initial investment in installing solar panels and setting up the cold room may require some capital, but the operational costs are significantly lower compared to traditional cold rooms. Solar power is free and abundant, making it a cost-effective source of energy for cooling purposes.

In addition, solar-powered cold rooms contribute to sustainability by reducing carbon emissions and minimizing the reliance on fossil fuels. They align with global efforts to combat climate change and promote renewable energy sources. The cost-effectiveness and sustainability of solar-powered cold rooms make them an attractive option for businesses and farmers in Nigeria, especially in remote areas with limited access to electricity.

By investing in solar-powered cold rooms, businesses can not only reduce their environmental footprint but also improve their bottom line through reduced energy costs and increased efficiency.

Do you want to upgrade an existing cold room or deploy a solar-powered cold room? Fill out the form below and we’ll reach out to you immediately.

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