Design Considerations for Reducing Battery Storage in Off-Grid, Stand-Alone, Photovoltaic-Powered Cold Storage in Rural Applications

Johan Meyer, Sune von Solms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents design considerations for the design and implementation of standalone photovoltaic-powered containerized cold storage solutions for rural off-grid applications. The work presented is based on a case study of an off-grid photovoltaic-powered cold storage unit located in rural South Africa. Although solar-powered solutions for off-grid rural applications are very attractive and offer many benefits, including increased food security, skills development, income generation, and productivity due to the presence of solar power, the application of cold storage requires careful consideration of the design aspects to ensure that the solution is feasible and sustainable. The challenge of maintaining low temperatures inside a cold storage system in an excessively warm environment, such as that frequently encountered in most African rural settings, has stimulated discussions of design considerations for optimal efficiency. Not only are the design aspects of the PV panel mounting and tilt associated with the geographic location of the application, but the heating implications are also derived from the physical orientation of the storage unit. Results from mathematical models are substantiated with field data collected from a case deployment. The design considerations for the sizing of the electrical components in the system are presented. The paper concludes by answering the research question as to what design aspects should be considered for an off-grid, PV-powered containerized cold storage system to reduce the size of the battery storage unit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3468
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • cold storage
  • off grid
  • photovoltaic design
  • rural development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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