When necessary, researchers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia have developed a system that uses air as a refrigerant and electricity to keep the vaccine’s cold chain at temperatures as low as -200ºC. It can be used with all types of cameras, from small cameras inserted into the cigarette lighter of a van to large ships and truck containers.
Globally, the distribution and logistics of coronavirus vaccines pose a challenge to health officials, especially in the case of Pfizer, which requires storage at temperatures as low as -70ºC.
In this case, researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) developed a Super cold self-contained container (CAU) Vaccines or other medical materials with very low temperature can be transported.Can reach Up to -200ºC use electricity supply And simply Ambient air As a coolant.
The system can be extended for all types of cameras, that is, it can be applied from small cameras carrying medical drug transport vehicles to large industrial refrigerators, freight containers or logistics storage and distribution centers.
He emphasized: “With it, we can cover the entire process of vaccine transportation and storage, ensuring that the incubator is always kept at the required temperature to ensure proper storage.” Vicente DolzResearcher of the Institute CMT-heat engine At the center of UPV, a prototype of CAU will be installed and put into operation.
A green alternative to dry ice
Currently used to refrigerate vaccine containers Dry ice (CO2 pcs Frozen), Which sublimates at -78°C, or liquid nitrogen that evaporates at -196°C. “However, according to scientists, this technology has some disadvantages: “It is not easy to control temperature and light bulbs.If they are exposed to too high temperatures, they may be damaged. In some transportation vehicles, such as airplanes, carbon dioxide2 pcs Dry ice sublimated in the cabin can be dangerous. Due to the shortage of carbon monoxide production, it is expected that the supply of dry ice will also be in short supply.2 pcs pure”.
“Industrial and financial constraints on the manufacture and commercialization of traditional refrigerant fluids make it necessary to find new and efficient subcooling technologies, but at the same time respect the environment and minimize carbon monoxide emissions.2 pcs; The system we designed is a response to this need,” he emphasized Jose Ramon Serrano, Another researcher.
Technology development use Pressure reducer and heat exchanger Keep it cool. In order to maintain the cold chain in vaccine transportation, air expansion is used in the so-called reverse Brayton cycle. Serrano explained that by using a frequency converter to control the speed of the circulating compressor, it is possible to control the power and thus the process temperature.
Since the vaccine has arrived in an incubator with dry ice, CAU only maintains the cold chain by compensating for heat loss to the environment.This allows Storage or indefinite transportation of vaccine boxes, No need to replenish or monitor dry ice.
The researchers concluded: “You only need to power the machine. If CAU is used directly to store vaccines in the production center, it can also replace dry ice.”