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In June we marked World Refrigeration Day because all too often we take the modern wonder of refrigeration for granted. Refrigeration has come a long way since our ancestors used snow and ice to keep things cool. Around 400 BC, the Persians were using the principle of evaporative cooling to make a ‘yakhchal’, meaning ice-pit. Since then, we have had various iterations of the ‘fridge’ as technology has evolved.


As with many inventions, no one person can claim credit for the refrigerator as we know it today – many scientists and engineers have had a hand in the cooling technology that keeps us safe by slowing down bacterial growth. And that is why the theme of this year’s World Refrigeration Day was #NextGenCooling, because technology never stands still, and refrigeration is constantly evolving.


Polestar and Dulas engineers working together


Engineers are always looking to innovate and improve. Polestar became wholly owned by renewable energy company Dulas in 2020, but we have worked together for many years. Dulas was formed in 1984 when Centre for Alternative Technology engineers pioneered the solar powered vaccine refrigerator. Together, we have designed, developed and manufactured a range of solar powered vaccine refrigerators that are exported all over the world.


Refrigeration: essential for vaccination programmes

For many of us, refrigeration is a given, and we barely give a thought to the vaccinations that we received in infancy to protect us from diseases like tuberculosis, measles and polio. However, for those who live in areas with little or no grid connection, refrigeration and vaccination would be impossible without solar-powered cold chain equipment to keep vaccines at the required temperature, so that they remain effective.


Polestar factory: constantly innovating

Polestar engineers specialise in the design and manufacture of refrigeration equipment for the medical, scientific, industrial, marine and construction sectors. In May of this year, we celebrated Polestar’s 20th birthday! Last year, we expanded production within the factory to meet growing demand, and since then we’ve been working hard to prepare orders being shipped to a growing number of countries around the world.


Cold chain is more important than ever

Today, as climate change affects temperatures all over the world, there is a very real threat to human health, especially in countries with weak health infrastructure. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), increasing temperatures are expanding the areas where diseases such as malaria and dengue fever thrive. Extreme weather events and armed conflict also increase the likelihood of outbreaks of infectious disease. Cold chain is more important than ever – this network of cold rooms, freezers, cold boxes and carriers facilitate vital vaccination programmes in the most remote parts of the world, saving millions of lives every year.


David Elliot, Principal Technical Consultant in the Solar International Team comments: “There’s always room to improve on any technology, and our R&D team never stops looking to innovate, whether it’s eliminating any risk of vaccine freezing (something we did back in 2014), reducing the carbon footprint of a process, or looking for ways to harness excess energy available from an SDD refrigerator. Our products are used in global immunisation programmes, which is all the incentive you need really – it’s rewarding and stimulating at the same time.”


WHO approved vaccine refrigerators

Our vaccine refrigerators are PQS accredited which means that our customers can rely on their performance, quality and safety. They are the only WHO accredited refrigerators manufactured in the UK and each year we export thousands around the globe. Already in 2023, we have sent shipments of cold chain equipment to countries within Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa and the Middle East.


Our engineers are currently developing our new range of #NextGenerationRefrigerators – our aim is to ensure that these refrigerators go further in the fight to ensure that every child has access to life-saving vaccines, wherever they live in the world. Refrigeration helps to save lives – Happy World Refrigeration Day!

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