23 January 2018

HONG KONG – Yesterday at the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo, Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development announced the results of the 2016-17 Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition, identifying the world’s best, most energy-efficient refrigerators designed for compatibility with off-grid solar energy systems.

The results released today include best-in-class products in five size categories. The competition also identified two products – DCR165 and DCR50 – from SunDanzer Refrigeration Inc. as the winners of innovation cash prizes of $200,000 each for demonstrated market-leading advancement in Energy Efficiency and Overall Value, respectively. The cash prizes were sponsored by the U.S. Global Development Lab and the U.K. Department for International Development’s (DfID) Ideas to Impact programme as part of their commitment to Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development.

“Access to refrigeration holds unique potential to unlock economic and social progress for billions of un- and under-electrified people globally. Refrigerators can create new income streams for small businesses and micro-enterprises, help health clinics store materials, improve nutrition by prolonging shelf life, and reduce the amount of time that people in off-grid communities – primarily women – spend shopping for food,” said Andrew Herscowitz, Coordinator of Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led partnership to double access to electricity in Africa by 2030 and a foundational member of SOGE.

Highly energy-efficient, appropriately designed and priced off-grid refrigerators can improve livelihoods and achieve broader development impacts. SunDanzer designed the DCR50 product specifically for submission to the Global LEAP Awards. The DCR50 requires just over 100 Watt hours to run for an entire day, substantially less than conventional refrigerator products, and offered the best value for money. SunDanzer’s other winning product, the DCR165, used energy most efficiently as determined by performance metrics including daily energy consumption and the time required to achieve and maintain a target temperature.

“We need to see continued innovation in refrigerator technology and product design to ensure compatibility with small-scale off-grid solar energy systems,” said Sarah Bieber, Director of SOGE at USAID’s Global Development Lab. The purpose of the Global LEAP Awards is to incentivize such innovation and identify best-in-class appliance products that are compatible with small-scale off-grid solar energy systems. These products can help build demand and accelerate growth for solar household systems.

In addition to the two innovation prize winners announced yesterday, a third innovation prize will be awarded – for Appropriate Design and User Experience – following field testing in Uganda in early 2018. “We’re very excited to learn more about the real-world performance and impacts of these products. The field testing will produce a unique and valuable set of learnings,” said Magdalena Banasiak, Senior Innovation Adviser at DfID.  

Winners and Finalists from the Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition are eligible to participate in the Global LEAP Off-Grid Appliance Procurement Incentives program. Supported by Power Africa and Energising Development (EnDev), the program drives best-in-class appliance products into key off-grid markets by providing incentives to appliance manufacturers and off-grid solar distributors that partner to distribute large quantities of best-in-class off-grid refrigerators.

Innovation Prize Winners

  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY: SunDanzer Refrigeration Inc. – DCR165
  • OVERALL VALUE: SunDanzer Refrigeration Inc. – DCR50

Size Category Winners and Finalists

Large Refrigerator Category
  • WINNER: Palfridge – LC221
  • FINALISTS:
    • SunDanzer Refrigeration Inc. – DCR165
    • SolarNow – Fridge 112L/12-24Vdc
    • Palfridge – LC120
    • The Sure Chill Co. – Vaccine Refrigerator - GVR99AC
    • Phocos North America Inc. – FR Series DC Refrigerators/FR240MP
    • Phocos North America Inc. – FR Series DC Refrigerators/FR170MP
    • Simusolar Inc. – Solar powered refrigerator/DCR165
Medium Refrigerator Category
  • WINNER: Palfridge – LC86
  • FINALISTS: The Sure Chill Co. – GVR75DC
Small Refrigerator Category
  • WINNER: SunDanzer Refrigeration Inc. – DCR50
  • FINALISTS: Solageo – Portable DC Compressor Refrigerator (30L)/SOL-REF-T30
 Large Refrigerator-Freezer Combination Unit Category
  • WINNER: Basil Energetics LTD - Domestic Direct Cool Refrigerator/DC170L
  • FINALISTS: MAKS Powertech LTD - MAKS Solar DC Refrigerator/MR-139
Small Refrigerator-Freezer Combination Unit Category
  • WINNER: Metropolitan Electrical Appliance Mfg. Co. LTD - Domestic Direct Cool Refrigerator/DC170L
  • FINALISTS:
    • NIWA Next Energy Products LTD – Coolio 100
    • Basil Energetics LTD – RF50

​Detailed information about all Winners and Finalists—including product performance data and sales contact information—is available in the 2017 Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Buyer’s Guide.

Background

The 2016-17 Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition was supported by a partnership of USAID’s Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development initiative, the U.K. Department for International Development’s Ideas to Impact Programme, and Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative. The Global LEAP Awards is a program of the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership under the Clean Energy Ministerial.

Globally, a total of 1.2 billion people live without adequate access to electricity, and another billion have less than four hours of reliable electricity each day. The vast majority of these off-grid communities are in developing Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and the people who live in them are frequently among the world’s poorest.

The 2016-17 Global LEAP Awards also included competitions for off-grid televisions and fans. Leading impact investors Acumen and Shell Foundation will use the outcomes of the 2016-17 Global LEAP Awards to inform proactive efforts to catalyze and validate new technology and business models to bring highly efficient appliances to off-grid consumers.

All Global LEAP Awards Winners and Finalists undergo testing by accredited laboratories for their energy performance, quality, and reliability, and an evaluation by a panel of off-grid market experts.  

For any inquiries, please contact info@scalingoffgrid.org.

 

Download the press release.