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Forced-Air Evaporative Cooling Chambers

Off-grid pre-cooling of fruits and vegetables

Forced-air evaporative cooling is well suited to provide rapid pre-cooling and improved storage of fruits and vegetables. Chambers with this design typically cost less than half the cost of a refrigerated cold room.

Features of the forced-air evaporative cooling chamber
  • Provides the greatest value in hot and dry climates

  • Ideal for fruits and vegetables that store well in high humidity environments

  • Lower energy consumption and half the cost of refrigerated cold rooms

  • Forced airflow is ideal for rapid pre-cooling

MIT D-Lab collaborated with Solar Freeze in Kenya and Hunnarshala Foundation in India to build pilot forced-air evaporative cooling chambers.

Both chambers have the capacity to store 168 crates of produce (~3,000 kg).

The chamber built in Kibwezi, Kenya is a fully off-grid system and vegetables cost $15,000 to build.

Kibwezi front-1.jpg

The chamber built in Bhuj, India is an on-grid system and vegetables cost $8,100 to build


The CoolVeg team is continuing to work with Solar Freeze and Hunnarshala Foundation to provide technical support, monitor the usage of the chambers, and evaluate the benefits the chamber provides to users and the community.

Extending spinach shelf-life 


Solar Freeze conducted shelf-life experiments with the pilot forced-air evaporative cooling chamber in Kibwezi, Kenya.

The images to the left are from experiments with spinach showing that the shelf life can be extended from 2 days to over 5 days when stored in the chamber. 

Components of the Airflow System

Airflow cross section.png

A head-on cross-sectional schematic of the key components in the airflow system of the chamber.

Work With Us

CoolVeg is available to support the construction of these chambers which are particularly well-suited for rapid pre-cooling when energy access is a constraint.

Video: Cooling Chamber in Kenya

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