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Portable Solar Crates to Address Post-harvest Wastage and Distressed Selling


In India, the wastage of agricultural produces, especially the fruits and vegetables, is huge estimating to be about 25% of the produce because of the lack of proper storage and transit facilities. This is a serious problem predominantly being faced by small & marginal farmers as they cannot store their products; they end up in distressed selling. To address wastage of agricultural produce and augment income for farmers, Tan90 (Thermal Solutions Private Limited), a start-up company initiated by IIT Madras has developed a portable chiller box (solar crates) powered by thermal batteries. A study was carried out by MCRC along with Tan90 to test the efficiency of the chiller box by storing vegetables. It was observed that the batteries are efficient that it reduced the temperature inside the chiller box to 18°C within one hour. Once the temperature is reached, it could remain at that temperature for 4 – 5 hours. The a dvantage of the solar crates is that the box can be carried to the market at the back of the cycle or two-wheeler or even in tri-cycles. For pilot testing, the solar crates have been distributed to selected farmers in Viluppuram, Thiruvallur and Sivaganga areas to store their vegetables / agri-produces, and study their efficacy at a larger scale.