Dear TechNet members, I'm putting together a document on the performance of solar direct-drive (SDD) vaccine refrigerators and would like to request your assistance. If you have experience of SDD projects in the field I would be very grateful if you could share your thoughts on how well they have performed (particularly in relation to other types of vaccine refrigerator), problems that were encountered, solutions identified, and any other observations you might have.
More than 20 SDDs are now WHO PQS-prequalified, and many of these are eligible for funding as part of the GaviCold Chain Equipment Optimisation Platform. It's an exciting technology that has the potential to be a "game-changer" for immunization programs, as iteliminates the need for expensive/problematic energy storage batteries used to power solar refrigerators. However, with all new technologies it is uncertain how well suited it is for use in "the real world" outside of the laboratory.
As part of Project Optimize, PATH and WHO worked with ministries of health in in Vietnam and Senegal toconduct some SDD pilot studies, but this was five years ago. I've also heard that CHAI have been doing some work in this area, but don't think they have yet published their experiences. I wonder if TechNet members can share any more recent experiences with these devices? Both good and bad!