British solar firm Dulas has completed a supply and training programme in Myanmar which delivered its photovoltaic (PV)-powered vaccine refrigerators under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The training programme for technicians from Myanmar’s health ministry focused on installing and maintaining the solar technology as well as the specifics of vaccine storage, such as optimum temperature requirements.

The stand-alone refrigeration units feature a 400 W PV array and 132 litre vaccine storage capacity, as well as a phase change thermal energy storage solution.

An optional add-on is the so-called Solar Socket, which enables mobile phone charging and temperature monitoring and can power a light source.  

Dulas said the refrigeration unit can operate with solar radiation levels as low as 125 W/m2 and in ambient temperatures up to 70 degrees C.  

Myanmar aims to achieve full immunization for its population and has invested $156.5m in vaccination programmes over the past 16 years, but there is a danger of the vaccines being spoiled due to overheating in remote locations without reliable power.