2. Solar Vaccine Refrigerator

MSU Solar Vaccine Refrigerator sm


MSU Solar Vaccine Refrigerator sm
ATC – MSU Solar Vaccine Refrigerator



In rural parts of Africa and Asia vaccines that need to be kept cold spoil due to a lack of refrigeration.  The problem is that a large number of people live in remote places that lack electricity.  Sometimes vaccines are carried for days before they can be administered.  Keeping vaccines cold for such a long time is nearly impossible.  This leads to vaccine spoilage that costs billions of U.S. dollars each year and negatively impacts millions of lives.


The Appropriate Technology Collaborative worked with Michigan State University to design a refrigerator that can be built out of locally available materials almost anywhere on the planet.  Our Solar Vaccine Refrigerator (SVR) does not use electricity of any kind.  It has no moving parts yet when you put it in sunlight it starts a refrigeration cycle.

In 2009 a team of Engineering Students from Michigan State University traveled to the ATC shared Workshop space in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.  They built a Solar Vaccine Refrigerator (SVR) from parts that are easy to find anywhere in the world.  The refrigerator does not use electricity, it does not have any moving parts, you simply place it in the sun and it chills or freezes things.  A very remarkable machine.

SVR Construction sq1
Working on the cooling fins

The MSU / ATC refrigerator drawings are available online, for free, for anyone anywhere in the world to build themselves.  The SVR drawings have been downloaded over 3,700 times and our clients report serving millions of people with the design.

Michigan State – Success!

Drawings and Specifications, Solar Vaccine Refrigerator:  Link (TBD)

Contact John Barrie