Adilies Limited

Adili Solar’s Tricycle Mounted Solar Fridges

Empowering Fish Supply Chains with Solar Powered Tricycle Fridges.

Adili Solar Hubs personnel have been in Turkana for the past week where we have been carrying out a pilot run of supply of fresh Lake Turkana fish to the Kakuma and Kalobeyei refugee camps using the Tricycle Mounted Solar Fridges (TMSF)

Day 1: Assembly of the Tricycle Mounted Solar Fridges (TMSF) in Lodwar.

With our partner Mike Bauer, MBA project manager for the SunDazer- IFAD project, we assembled one unit of the TSMF at our Lowdar premises. We were able to note the various design and structural adjustments that will be necessary to ensure efficient operations as well as the tools necessary to enable swift and efficient assembly of the units.


Day 2: Sourcing of fish from Lake Turkana.

We travelled from Lodwar to Kalokol and took a boat ride to Longech. At our processing facility in Longech, we found the resident team supplying water to the community members. The team had started the ice production using the Flake Ice Machine. We engaged the Beach Management Unit, informing them of the pilot, then we set out to source fish which was scarce as the government had a recent crackdown on illegal fishing gear.

The Tricycle Mounted Solar Fridge entails the integration of a front-loaded tricycle unit equipped with a 100-liter DC fridge from SunDanzer, Solar Home system by Zimpertec which is equipped with a PWM charge controller, LFP battery, 2 170W flexible solar modules, DC lights, phone charger and a pay-go unit.

We got fish from Angelina Esekon, a fish trader along the shores of Lake Turkana which included Nile perch and Turkana carp which were attached by a hook on to a boat and allowed to stay alive until purchased. We also got tilapia was stored in a basin under a shade and catfish which was stored in a sack to prevent runaways. 3 out of the 4 catfish were alive and one had to be disposed of. We aggregated about 30 kilos of fish and took them to our processing facility.

At the facility, we cleaned, processed and packed the fish with ice in the Honeycomb VIP Cooler box. The cooler box was filled with fish and ice, to keep it cool and fresh. Usually, the fish is cooled with ice first then placed in the cooler boxes with fresh ice. In the interest of time, we had to skip this step which resulted in a significant amount of melt in the cooler box by the time we got back to our residence at Lodwar town. About 20 percent of the ice in the cooler box had melted because of the heat exchange between the ice and the fish.

Day 3: Pilot Execution at Kakuma Market

The next morning at 7am, we added some Phase Change Material (PCM) and ice packs to maintain the temperature below zero degrees Celsius as we transported the fish to Kakuma. We used 5 phase change packs of -10 and -15 degrees Celsius each.

We arrived in Kakuma at 8.30am and had delays in getting the permits to enter the Camp until 1pm when we made it to the JRS premises where our client is incubated. We inspected the assembly of the TMSF at the camp assembled by the Vijana Twaweza members and gave feedback on the assembly and recommendation for improvement. After a few modifications, we were able to start loading the freezers at 2:30pm. There was very little change in the ice levels in the cooler box as the temperature difference between the fish and the ice had been stabilized.

Insights for the commercial roll-out.

The insights gained from this pilot program are invaluable as we prepare for the commercial roll-out of 23 TSFM units to the Kakuma and Kalobeyei markets. As Adili, it’s crucial that we support the fishers by providing them with ice for their fishing activities. We must prioritize hygienic handling of harvested fish to prevent contamination, including providing fishermen with cooler boxes for fish storage in ice upon harvest. Adequate ice production in our facility is essential to maintain fish freshness during processing and transportation.

To optimize our operations, we plan to scale up by portioning large fish into market-ready sizes at our processing plant. Subsequently, we will weigh and package the fish, eliminating the need for weighing at the market and minimizing contamination risks.

We also need to equip all fish handlers with PPEs necessary.

It’s essential to train our partners in the proper assembly of the TMSF to maximize unit lifetime and reduce downtime during operations.

Key organizations at play.

·      SunDanzer Refrigeration Inc. (SDZ) is US-based privately held company that has specialized in solar refrigeration for over 20 years. In 2018 SDZ was awarded the IFAD grant entitled “Green Technologies to Facilitate Value Chains for Perishable Crops and Animal Products” (GREENTECH). As part of the grant, SDZ was required to deploy 194 100-liter fridges in the Dairy sector of Rwanda. Due to low need it was decided to redeploy these fridges toward the employment of Youth. To this end, these solar powered fridges were integrated into custom cargo tricycles to be used as mobile selling points for fish and other refrigerated products in Kenya.

·      Adili Solar Hubs Ltd. (ASH) is a for profit, social enterprise focused on providing solar power to off-grid communities for productive use and operates the “Fish by Adili” project. This project entails buying fish at fair trade prices from artisanal fishers on Lake Turkana, processing and selling it through the cold chain it owns and operates. Currently, ASH sells through wholesalers at an operating loss and is seeking to bypass wholesalers and sell through retail channels to achieve sustainability.

·   Vijana Twaweza (VT) is an organized Youth group currently consisting of 40 male and female members. Their main activity consists operating a tilapia and catfish fish farming operation on JRS premises in Kakuma 1. They are in need of cooling capacity for their fish and also an additional source of fish (as their current production is low). VT are in the process of registration as a Self-Help group based in Kakuma.

· Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an NGO that supports refugees worldwide with education and livelihood, mental health and psychosocial support, reconciliation and advocacy services. They operate within and support the Kakuma settlement in Kenya. As part of their activities, they have been supporting the Vijana Twaweza Youth group with their fish farming efforts.

Stay tuned for more updates and exciting news from Adili Solar Hubs.

SunDanzer Refrigeration Inc.

Zimpertec GmbH & Co KG

Kimani Gichuche

Shirongo Eddmound

Vijana Twaweza Club


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