Chill Challenge: Affordable Off-Grid Refrigeration

To address this refrigeration “gap,” Engineers Without Borders – USA is launching the Affordable Off-Grid Refrigeration Challenge, which has been funded by a generous grant from the Open Philanthropy Project. 

The objective of the challenge is the development of refrigerators and icemakers that are significantly more affordable for off-grid communities than currently available units. EWB-USA intends to award grants of $25,000-$50,000 to as many as 10 teams to develop proof of concept prototypes. The competition will be open to all interested parties, and open to all refrigeration technologies. Specific design targets call for:

  1. Development of a 150-250 liter refrigerator that can chill 20 liters of water/day from 35C to 3C, and cost less than $12/month to own and operate, or;
  2. Development of an icemaker that can produce 100-1000 kgs of ice/day at a cost of $0.03/kg or less.

Both units must achieve these targets while operating on off-grid energy sources, and be otherwise suitable for use in remote developing communities.



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Grants of $25,000-$50,000 to as many as 10 teams.

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