SunDanzer in the Spotlight: Global Leap's Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition and Innovation Prize Winners Announced

Published Jan. 23. 2018

At Scaling Off-Grid

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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.

Yesterday at the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo, Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development announced the results of the 2016-17 Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition, identifying the world’s best, most energy-efficient refrigerators designed for compatibility with off-grid solar energy systems.

The results released today include best-in-class products in five size categories. The competition also identified two products – DCR165 and DCR50 – from SunDanzer Refrigeration Inc. as the winners of innovation cash prizes of $200,000 each for demonstrated market-leading advancement in Energy Efficiency and Overall Value, respectively. The cash prizes were sponsored by the U.S. Global Development Lab and the U.K. Department for International Development’s (DfID) Ideas to Impact programme as part of their commitment to Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development.

“Access to refrigeration holds unique potential to unlock economic and social progress for billions of un- and under-electrified people globally. Refrigerators can create new income streams for small businesses and micro-enterprises, help health clinics store materials, improve nutrition by prolonging shelf life, and reduce the amount of time that people in off-grid communities – primarily women – spend shopping for food,” said Andrew Herscowitz, Coordinator of Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led partnership to double access to electricity in Africa by 2030 and a foundational member of SOGE.

Highly energy-efficient, appropriately designed and priced off-grid refrigerators can improve livelihoods and achieve broader development impacts. SunDanzer designed the DCR50 product specifically for submission to the Global LEAP Awards. The DCR50 requires just over 100 Watts to run for an entire day, substantially less than conventional refrigerator products, and offered the best value for money. SunDanzer’s other winning product, the DCR165, used energy most efficiently as determined by performance metrics including daily energy consumption and the time required to achieve and maintain a target temperature.

“We need to see continued innovation in refrigerator technology and product design to ensure compatibility with small-scale off-grid solar energy systems,” said Sarah Bieber, Director of SOGE at USAID’s Global Development Lab. The purpose of the Global LEAP Awards is to incentivize such innovation and identify best-in-class appliance products that are compatible with small-scale off-grid solar energy systems. These products can help build demand and accelerate growth for solar household systems.

In addition to the two innovation prize winners announced yesterday, a third innovation prize will be awarded – for Appropriate Design and User Experience – following field testing in Uganda in early 2018. “We’re very excited to learn more about the real-world performance and impacts of these products. The field testing will produce a unique and valuable set of learnings,” said Magdalena Banasiak, Senior Innovation Adviser at DfID.

Winners and Finalists from the Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition are eligible to participate in the Global LEAP Off-Grid Appliance Procurement Incentives program. Supported by Power Africa and Energising Development (EnDev), the program drives best-in-class appliance products into key off-grid markets by providing incentives to appliance manufacturers and off-grid solar distributors that partner to distribute large quantities of best-in-class off-grid refrigerators.

Read all about the winners by visiting Scaling Off-Grid.

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Mar. 14, 2018

SunDanzer has been interested in the off-grid household and small business refrigeration market for years. Their recent win at the Global LEAP Awards presents a great opportunity to meet that call! They're hard at work on finding the balance of price and energy efficiency needed to make it work.

Jan. 22, 2018

SunDanzer Refrigeration was a big winner at the Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition—two of their products won innovation cash prizes of $200,000 each for demonstrated market-leading advancement in energy efficiency and overall value. Congratulations and good work!