Conference abstract

Evaluation of performance of solar direct-drive and solar battery-powered refrigerators in Benue State

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2018:8(12).21 Mar 2018.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2018.8.12.594
Archived on: 21 Mar 2018
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Keywords: Solar direct drive, battery-powered, refrigerator, immunization, technology
Opening ceremony

Evaluation of performance of solar direct-drive and solar battery-powered refrigerators in Benue State

Geoffrey Ingyoroko Tolough1,&, Ishaya Bako1, Bem Ageda2, Onyemocho Audu1, Jonathan Kur3, Terkaa Bitto1, Gideon Dura4

1Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria, 2Benue State Primary Health Care Board, Makurdi, Nigeria, 3Ministry of Health and Human Services, Makurdi, Nigeria, 4Benue State AIDS Control Agency, Makurdi, Nigeria

&Corresponding author
Geoffrey Ingyoroko Tolough, Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria


Introduction: in 2014, 52 new technology solar direct-drive (SDD) refrigerators were supplied to Benue State government. Fifty of them along with 24 traditional battery-powered solar refrigerators were installed at the same time to boost immunization activities. We evaluated these two sets of equipment to ascertain their suitability and performance in cold chain maintenance after two years of installation.

Methods: we carried out a cross-sectional study on 50 SDD, and 24 battery-powered solar refrigerators using structured questionnaire and reviewed temperature charts. Two SDD were excluded. We determine the mean, standard deviation and analysis of variance (ANOVA) of temperatures of functional refrigerators. We conducted focused group discussion with key stakeholders. Data was analyzed using Excel and Epi Info 7.2

Results: of the 72 solar refrigerators, 51 (71%) were functional and 21 (29%) non-functional. Of the 51 functional refrigerators, 48 (94%) were SDD and only 3 (6%) battery-powered. All the non-functional ones were the battery-powered. Commonest challenge was battery related affecting 12 (57%). One (2%) of the 48 SDD developed partial fault with the freezer compartment. Only one (4%) of the 24 battery-powered refrigerators while 47 (98%) of the SDD did not develop any fault since installation. Simple maintenance was practiced at 100%. Acceptance of SDD was 100% over battery-powered refrigerators by stakeholders. The on-the-spot temperature range was 4-7C, highest temperature frequency of 34 (66.67%) was 5.0C. The mean, median and mode were 5.0C; variance was 0.36 while standard deviation was 0.6. When the on-the-spot temperature was cross-tabulated with type of refrigerator, the ANOVA p-Value of 0.1 failed to reject null hypothesis. A review from six SDD refrigerators showed no seasonal temperature variation but mean temperatures ranging 2.7-5.9C with significant single factor ANOVA (F calculated 67.2, F critical 2.3).

Conclusion: very low breakdown of SDD showed that the new technology may be a solution to cold chain maintenance challenges over battery powered refrigerators. However, temperature recordings are comparable for both. Health actions included repair of the only SDD with freezer compartment fault, installation of the other four and advocacy to purchase batteries.