Brookline Innovator Puts a Twist on Technology to Beat the Heat

Published Jul. 7, 2017

By Emma R. Murphy for Wicked Local Brookline

About Powering Agriculture

Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development supports the development and deployment of clean energy innovations that increase agriculture productivity and stimulate low carbon economic growth in the agriculture sector of developing countries to help end extreme poverty and extreme hunger.

Sam White has found a new way to stay cool – by taking technology used to chill milk in India, to create cooling necklaces.

In 2010, White, co-founder of Promethean Power Systems, was working and living in India with his wife when he came up with the idea for the Nano-Ice Cooling Necklace.

At the time, White and his team at Promethean Power Systems were working with dairy farmers in India to help them find ways to chill their milk for market.

“We discovered a pretty big problem of farmers in India not being able to generate power to chill milk,” said White.

The technology uses a cooling system that causes many ice crystals to form within a compact space, enabling hours of cooling. According to White, the technology helped over 25,000 dairy farmers chill their milk and move away from diesel generators.

While living in Mumbai the heat was oppressive; White’s wife, in particular, struggled.

“You’d step out and it was a wall of heat,” White said.

Looking to offer her some relief, White took some of the cooling balls that were left over from the cooling system, wrapped them in cloth and gave them to his wife to wear. The necklace made all the difference.

According to White, even in Mumbai’s intense heat, the necklace lasted for hours.

The necklace strings together multiple plastic balls encased in different cloth patterns. The balls contain a water-based solution that freezes, like the dairy cooling system, and creates multiple ice crystals in a compact space.

White launched a Kickstarter in 2015, expecting that the necklace would help a few people who find themselves constantly battling the heat.

“I was sure it was going to be maintenance workers and chefs,” he said.

Instead, White discovered that the necklace was not just popular among those who struggled in the heat, but that it helped provide relief for women with menopause, those with multiple sclerosis, and cancer patients.

“If you can prevent the heat you can dramatically reduce the symptoms,” White said.

When Brookline resident Carolyn Adamson-Mohan saw a neighbor wearing the necklace, she immediately had to know what it was – and when she found out, she immediately ordered one.

“I learned what it was all about and it was a wonderful wonderful thing for me,” said Adamson-Mohan.

As someone who struggled her whole life with heat, Adamson-Mohan said the necklace was the perfect solution as is keeps her cool for hours, looks good and does not melt like an ice pack or damp cloth.

White’s motivation to continue offering the necklaces is the feedback he gets from customers about how the necklace has helped. It is how he learned that the necklace helps those with MS and cancer.

Like with the initiative to help dairy farmers, White’s goal is for a product to have a social impact.

Related News & Events: 
Mar. 25, 2018

Promethean Power Systems' milk chillers are improving the bottom line for farmers. A dairy complex official put it this way: "This power system plays an important role in reducing loss that we faced earlier due to inadequate refrigeration and poor storage. The waste has reduced to 0.01% from 8%."

Mar. 13-15, 2018

Sam White, co-founder of Promethean Power Systems, will provide insights on the benefits of deploying in developing economies, and will discuss whether initial deployment in developing countries might improve technology design and deployment strategies for domestic markets.

Jan. 2, 2018

Promethean Power Systems has changed the way Hatsun Agro, and other large Indian dairy sellers, do business. Their clean tech thermal batteries help these companies distribute fresher, more healthy milk to consumers, while allowing farmers to maximize their output. 

Sep. 28, 2017

Congratulations to Promethean Power Systems! They've just won the Confederation of Indian Industry's Significant Achievement in Innovation award for their thermal energy-based milk chilling and storage solution. Their accomplishments mean fresher milk for consumers and a better living for farmers.