Author Archives: Dr Ahmed Rezk

About Dr Ahmed Rezk

An experienced teacher in higher education and researcher in the subject area of Thermal Fluid Sciences. Ahmed has an extensive first-hand research experience in energy systems modelling and energy management including powertrain electrification in modern propulsion. He worked in the field of turbo-machinery computational fluid dynamics modelling.

Our Africa Knowledge Transfer Partnership with ColdHubs

This is one of the projects with our collaborators at the University of Port Harcourt and ColdHubs in Nigeria that aims securing the cold chain in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project is led by Dr Muhammad Imran. In this project we integrate solar absorption and vapour compression systems in order to overcome the thermodynamic limitaitons due to the ambient conditions. For more information about the project, please visit at Aston’s website.

Heat driven cooling

There are a lot of resources for heat that can be harvested to directly power your heat driven cooling system without any intermediate heat-to-power subsytem to power a conventional vapour compression cooling unit. This means that your sustainable cooling package is much simpler, cheaper and easier to maintain. Simple sustainable cooling will lead to sustainable economic growth and secured cold chain.

Yes, you can take thermal driven cooling (adsorption or absorption) further than you thought to support your farming business and comunity “Cooling is not a luxry”!

Overview of Cooling for Life in Africa project

Although agriculture is central to most of sub-Saharan African countries, the food system remains insecure due to the significant losses of products such as milk, meat, and vegetables. The lack of food cold chains is due to energy poverty and unreliable power supply. The available mechanically driven vapour-compression cooling technologies are energy-intensive, utilise environmentally harmful gases (i.e. CFC and HCFC) and require capital investment unaffordable by smallholder farmers. These barriers hamper the development of agro-post-processing industries such as dairy, fruit ripening or preservation for export to key markets.

Africa is the sunniest continent on the earth, low-tech solar-driven cold store offers the required cooling with nearly free running cost. Nevertheless, barriers to the adoption of new technologies include capital and implementation costs and lack of familiarity with technology. Aston University jointly with the University of Rwanda will explore both the technological and commercial viability of implementing new solutions to solar-powered cooling chains.

The proposed solution centres on developing a standalone cold store using sorption-cooling technology, driven primarily by solar heat, and with minimal need for energy storages. We will design and optimise a solar system to provide continuous operation and develop a 1D numerical demonstration model. Alongside, we will collect data on the commercial viability of the investment, investigating the potential additional income generation through longer storage and the ability of accessing urban markets with higher price levels

In Alignment with GCRF goals, CL-Africa targets:

  • Equitable Access to Sustainable Development.
    • Secure and resilient food system.
    • Sustainable health and wellbeing.
    • Affordable, reliable, sustainable energy.
  • Sustainable Economies and Society.
    • Sustainable livelihoods supported by strong foundations for inclusive economic growth and innovation.
    • Resilience and action on short-term environmental shocks and long-term environmental change.
    • Sustainable cities and communities.
    • Sustainable production and consumption of materials and other resources.

In alignment with UN Goals:

  • CL-Africa leads to a sustainable food cold chain to save million tons of wasted food under the current situation of inadequate food cold chain in SSA, which directly contributes to Goal 2 (zero hunger).
  • Having resilient food cold chains will increase the market opportunities for smallholder farmers and improving their livelihood. They will be able to get their perishable product to urban markets, which directly contributes to Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth).
  • The proposed technology is predominantly driven by solar heat as a clean renewable source, which is a stepping stone towards Goal 7 (affordable and clean energy).