Rockwell launches hybrid vaccine freezer for Covid-19

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on March 04, 2021

The indigenously-developed Chillermill is powered by solar and wind energies; to invest ₹100 crore on expansion

Rockwell Industries, a commercial cold chain appliances manufacturer, has launched indigenously-developed Chillermill, a chiller/freezer powered by hybrid solar and wind renewable energy.

These would be ideal for storing vaccines, lifesaving medicines, including for Covid-19 vaccines at the desired temperature even in remote locations and rural areas without firm power supply.

The Chillermill, certified by World Health Organisation PQS (WHO PQS) Covid-19 Freezer Series, will be manufactured at its Medchal unit near Hyderabad. The freezer systems are certified by the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER), Hyderabad.

Ashok Gupta, Managing Director, Rockwell Industries, said, “We have capacity to manufacture about 1,000 machines per day and we plan to double the capacity with a capital outlay of ₹100 crore.”

The Covid-19 vaccines chillers are powered by SolarMill, a hybrid wind and solar energy solution, manufactured by WindStream Energy Technologies ideal for remote areas where availability of electricity is not stable.

Renewable energy support

The Hybrid Renewable System comprising Savonius vertical axis wind turbines, along with a solar module enables the refrigerator to run 24/7 on power stored in batteries. SolarMills are also being used in powering critical applications of defence forces, railways and telecom domain.

Gupta said, “Rockwell’s Chillermill and the new Covid-19 vaccine freezer series meet the temperature protocols of currently available vaccines for COVID-19 including Covaxin, AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, Moderna, and the Sputnik Vaccine temperature requirement of storage temperature between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. They can also meet the minus 40 degrees Celsius requirement.”

“There are many rural hospitals and immunisation sites that can’t depend on the unreliable power supply. With our new renewable energy-supported freezers/chillers, we are in a position to help the health sector overcome these challenges. Technologically they meet the strictest biosafety, biomedical needs and solve the pain points in the cold chain,” he said.

The company is in active discussion with leading vaccine players nationally and internationally to supply Chillermill.

Order book

“We expect to close in orders worth ₹25 crore this year and hope to achieve ₹50 crore by the end of 2022,” Ashok added.

These are priced at in the range of ₹40,000 to ₹2.5 lakh per unit.

Rockwell, which closed last year with ₹125 crore business in the cooling segment, is targeting ₹350 crore in the next few years, Ashok Gupta said.

Its plants in Medchal can produce about 400,000 units per annum. The company has earmarked an investment of ₹100 crore towards R & D, new capacities and adding a new marketing network to its existing network of 500+ outlets.

The company plans to participate in several tenders of central and state governments, public and private enterprises for refrigerators and freezers.

Published on March 04, 2021

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