Power To The People, Dairy By Dairy

Prometheanchillerprototype

  This photo shows a prototype of Promethean Power’s thermal storage. Inside the tank is a phase-change material that rapidly chills milk when it’s poured over the surface. Credit: Martin LaMonica

The MIT Technology Review provides a readable explanation of new technology, made even more readable due to the application of that technology:

Novel Energy Storage to Chill Milk in Rural India

After a few technology U-turns, startup Promethean Power moves ahead with thermal battery to overcome unstable grid at Indian dairies.

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Most people think of a battery as a device that stores electrical energy. Startup Promethean Power has developed what it calls a thermal battery that will first be used to cool milk in Indian villages.

Promethean Power has signed a contract to supply 50 of its milk chillers to Hatsun, India’s largest privately owned milk processor, the company’s two founders said this week. The company has also raised money, less than a million dollars from First Light Accelerator, for a joint venture called Promethean Spenta Technologies to make the chillers in India.

It’s a step forward for the Promethean Power, which was founded by two Boston-area social entrepreneurs over five years ago. The founders—Sorin Grama and Sam White—have endured many travails, both on the technology and business side, in an effort to create a cost-effective product for India.

Initially, the company had planned to make solar-powered milk collection stations to chill milk from individual Indian farmers. (See, Cheap, Off-Grd Cooling.) Because electricity service is unpredictable in India, particularly in rural areas, milk is typically collected twice a day and transported to larger processing centers, rather than refrigerated on site. If centers could chill milk reliably and collect milk for longer hours, small farmers would be able to sell more milk.

Read the rest of the story here.

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