Solar Refrigeration

Period of Performance: 01/25/2006 - 11/30/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sundanzer Development, Inc.
420 E Aviation Drive Array
Tucson, AZ 85714
Principal Investigator


The Army Combat Feeding Equipment and Technology Team has recognized the potential merits of using renewable energy to power the refrigeration unit for their 20-ft food containers. Using solar energy can reduce both the operational and location footprint of these containers, by reducing or eliminating the use of fossil fuels. The operational footprint is reduced because the engines that currently drive these systems will need less fuel and service. The locational footprint is reduced since the thermal and exhaust signatures of the engines are reduced or eliminated. Another strong argument in favor of using solar energy for these food containers is that the true cost of fuel in the battlefield is extraordinarily high. Some reports indicate fuel cost to be in the range of $10 to $50 per gallon based on the logistics required to provide fuel in these locations. It is because of these tactical and economic considerations that the Army Combat Feeding Equipment and Technology Team has funded this work to look at developing a solar powered refrigeration unit. The initial phase of this work is to analyze and develop preliminary designs for such a system. The 2nd phase is to construct an operational prototype unit that can be field-tested. This report documents the progress made in the initial phase and discusses the development path required for the 2nd phase.