The German company Covestro, a supplier of high-tech polymer materials, expects to help build 800 solar-powered, micro cold rooms in the Indian state of Telangana over the next two years. Indeed, polyurethanes can prevent heat from getting into cold rooms. Covestro also makes proprietary phase change material (PCM) that acts like batteries, absorbing heat first, and then providing cooling when required. Using these materials, the company has developed a ‘ micro cold room’ solution for farmers.
Up till now, mega-sized cold rooms that can hold hundreds of tonnes of material dominated the market. Farmers would have to transport their produce to the cold rooms and rent space there. Micro cold rooms could be a solution for small farmers who cannot afford the rental or the transport to a big one. Micro cold rooms are small enough to be located right at the farms, and can be custom-built to store small quantities of produce.
Covestro can therefore provide the key material and technologies to entrepreneurs who actually build the cold rooms, such as the Ecozen company.
Ecozen is specialised in solar-powered solutions. The company now builds micro cold rooms. Powered by solar panels, they do not depend on grid power. At night, the phase-change material provides cooling.