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Women’s Day 2021: IARI Woman Scientist Devises Innovative Pusa Farm SunFridge

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Dr. Sangeeta Chopra, Principal Scientist, Energy Science & Technology, IARI
Dr. Sangeeta Chopra, Principal Scientist, Energy Science & Technology, IARI

Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela 2021, popularly called Pusa Kisan Mela, saw a lot of attractive activities and innovations done by farmers and scientists. One of the attractions was Pusa Farm SunFridge, innovative fridge run by solar power. It is designed by Dr. Sangeeta Chopra, Principal Scientist, Energy Science and Technology, Electrical Engineering, IARI.

As Women’s Day 2021 is around the corner, this innovation comes at the right time as an example of how women are progressing and breaking boundaries of limitations imposed to them by the society.

The SunFridge was showcased at the recent Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela 2021. The team of Krishi Jagran (KJ) was present at the Mela and one of KJ’s journalist Jyoti Sharma talked with scientist Dr. Sangeeta Chopra.

About the SunFridge

The SunFridge devised by Dr. Sangeeta provides 2 tonnes of storage at 4 degrees celsius. The specialty of this fridge is that it is completely solar-powered. It requires no electric power, so the farmer does not have to worry about power bills.

The fridge uses water from AC. This means the fridge also helps in water conservation because it uses the water that drops from AC. Isn’t this great?

Pusa Farm SunFridge (Krishi Jagran's journalist Jyoti Sharma standing with a mike in hand)

What can you store in this fridge?

The fridge is especially designed for farmers who can store their perishable produce like fruits and vegetables.

It often happens that farmers cannot sell their entire produce the same day. Due to lack of storage facility, they usually throw away the surplus produce for animals to eat. They have no choice.

Thanks to the brilliant innovation by Dr. Sangeeta Chopra, farmers can now store their surplus produce and then take it out the next day and sell it.

The big benefit of SunFridge

Famers need not be at the mercy of price. They now have control over prices. It is often seen that, at the end of the day, farmers have to sell at the lowest price because they must sell the surplus produce anyhow.

Not anymore.

Now, farmers can easily store their surplus produce in the SunFridge, take it out next day, and sell at a lucrative price.

According to Dr. Sangeeta, one farmer had stored eggs in the fridge during the Coronavirus lockdown in May and June.

She adds that the fridge increases shelf life of perishable produce four times.

Cost of SunFridge

The cost of SunFridge is 6 lakhs.

Dr. Sangeeta informs that 3 lakhs is for the structure of the fridge. The remaining 3 lakhs is for solar panels, remote control, and refrigeration system machine.

Maintenance of SunFridge

Cloth used in the frame of the fridge should be wet. Solar panels should always be clean for maximum energy output.

How the SunFridge came into being

Dr. Sangeeta Chopra says, “We started this project in 2015. The fridge is a result of 5 years of research and hard work. I am not alone in its conception. Two scientists from Michigan State University are also involved in the making of this fridge. They are Dr. Randy Beaudry, Professor, Department of Horticulture and Dr. Norbert Muller, Professor in Mechanical Engineering. We got funding from the USA.”

She adds, “in the future, we are planning to devise a fridge for frozen items and with a temperature below 2 degrees celsius.”

In order to promote this technique and give it a commercial aspect, SND Infraprojects Pvt. Ltd. has signed a MoU with IARI. 

Dr. Sangeeta’s message to women

“There are women scientists and there are men scientists, but women scientists have to do housework too. I have seen that women do all the cleaning, they wake up early, etc., but mostly, they are not given credit. I want to say that, if you are doing something, take credit for this. You must work very hard. You must also be ready to do the work yourselves.”

Krishi Jagran wishes Happy Women’s Day 2021 to all women!

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