Rebound Technologies develops tailored refrigeration technologies designed to meet global energy market dynamics while reducing fossil fuel dependence. To successfully design, build and deploy SunChill™ technology, Rebound will leverage critical partnerships. The Energy Institute’s (Colorado State University) product development experience will support R&D, TechnoServe’s business solutions focus will drive host nation outreach/support, and Mozambique Organicos research farm will provide the primary venue for SunChill™ deployment and in-field testing.
Post-harvest, physiological obstacles such as ethane production, respiration and microbial attack make getting high quality horticultural products to market a significant challenge. Removing field heat from these products can double shelf life and reduce spoilage rates that often exceed 40 percent in developing countries. Unfortunately, current off-grid cooling technologies are expensive, energy intensive, and difficult to maintain.
SunChill™ is a novel, off-grid refrigeration solution enabling increased agricultural productivity by: (i) removing field heat from crops immediately following harvest, and (ii) providing continued product cooling at local markets and/or central processing facilities. This clean energy solution transforms 50°C solar thermal energy into 10°C refrigeration using solid refrigerants and local, non-precision components. These characteristics enable production of a low cost, low-maintenance technology that reduces spoilage and benefits smallholder farmer livelihoods.
SunChill™ is one of the first developing world technologies that reliably removes field heat without a high-cost electrical supply. The low- cost system enables increased horticultural production both for domestic and export consumption, generating additional income for smallholder farmers and increased access to nutritional fruits and vegetables while generating both manufacturing and service based employment. Rebound has utilized some of the data and lessons learned from field testing SunChill™ have been incorporated into its latest IcePoint™ technology for the US market.
Rebound completed the Powering Agriculture project in March 2016 by validating a SunChillTM field demonstration unit in Mozambique which cooled 43 kg of tomatoes during the pilot. The total project effort resulted in the completion of the engineering work that forms the technology foundation. Remaining is the industrial design work necessary to move SunChillTM to a commercialized product available for deployment. Rebound plans to Open Source all SunChillTM engineering documents by the end of 2016, opening the doors for students and entrepreneurs to leverage Rebound’s learnings and transition them into a successful, marketable product.