College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Eileen Rossman


Cal Poly physics professors Peter Schwartz and Nathan Heston approached the Solar Freeze team with the problem that remote communities in Africa have limited access to modern-day medicine or vaccines. They suggested that we try and design a cooling device that can keep vaccines cold for multiple days at a time while the medicine is transported to remote villages. Currently, there are vaccine cooler products on the market, but most of them are very expensive or lack portability. Peter and Nate have tasked the Solar Freeze team to come up with a less expensive solution that is also portable and can handle the harsh environments of Africa. Due to the fact that Peter and Nate have done extensive research and laboratory experiments with using a solar panel to power thermo-electric coolers, they suggested that a thermo-electric cooler should be used to keep the cooler cold. The Solar Freeze team’s goal is to design a solar-powered vaccine cooler that utilizes thermo-electric coolers to freeze a phase change material and keep vaccines at optimal temperature.