Promethean Power Systems named to Food Logistics’ Top Green Providers List for 2020

Promethean Power Systems named to Food Logistics’ Top Green Providers List for 2020

Promethean Team | Friday, June 19th, 2020

Boston, USA / Pune, India: Food Logistics, the publication exclusively dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global food supply chain, has named Promethean Power Systems to the Top Green Providers list for 2020 in the Alternative Fuels category.

Food Logistics’ annual Top Green Providers recognizes companies whose products, services, or exemplary leadership is enhancing sustainability within the food and beverage industry. Each year, the criteria for earning a spot on the list become more stringent for applicants. For example, the editorial staff evaluates a company’s participation in such programs as the EPA’s SmartWay and other recognized sustainability programs; facilities that are LEED-certified, and/or feature solar panels, LED lighting and other energy-saving installations and retrofits that produce measurable reductions in GHG emissions, to name a few. 

“Promethean is honoured to receive this coveted award for our sustainable and energy-efficient cold storage and refrigerated transport solutions powered by our patented thermal energy storage system that eliminates the use of diesel for cooling.  Our cooling systems have been fully operational during Covid-19 and have enabled food companies and thousands of farmers to reliably preserve and transport produce,” said Jiten Ghelani, CEO Promethean Power Systems.  “We are committed to reducing global food loss with innovative, environmentally-friendly and cost-effective technology and solutions. Through our suite of cold storage solutions, we are enabling a more sustainable and inclusive cold chain from farm to fork in India and worldwide. Our new line of energy-efficient refrigerated trucks eliminate the use of diesel for cooling and significantly reduce carbon footprint.”

“Our annual Top Green Providers award recognizes companies whose products, services, or exemplary leadership enhance sustainability within the food and beverage industry. From technology that reduces a fleet’s carbon footprint to software that helps shippers drive energy efficiency to systems and processes that help reduce the carbon and environmental impact of its customers’ supply chains, these top green providers continue to practice the ultimate in sustainability year over year,” says Marina Mayer, Editor-in-Chief of Food Logistics.

Recipients of this year’s 2020 Food Logistics: Top Green Providers award winners will be profiled in the June 2020 issue of Food Logistics, as well as online at

About Promethean Power Systems

Promethean Power Systems, based in Boston, USA and Pune, India, designs and manufactures energy storage systems that are redefining the cold chain from farm to fork in a more sustainable manner.  Its patented thermal energy storage technology enables energy-efficient refrigeration of fresh food items as they make their way from smallholder farmers in rural villages to processing plants and customers in urban centers. Promethean’s energy storage device uses proprietary phase-change materials to store large amounts of thermal energy. This thermal battery is designed to release energy at fast rates to cool food products quickly thereby preserving their freshness, while eliminating the use of diesel for cooling. 

Promethean works with leading dairy and food companies to implement its cold chain technology in their supply chains to better preserve perishable foods and reduce costs.  Promethean’s suite of cold storage products include farm and village level milk chillers, cold storages, and refrigerated trucks.

The company’s award-winning energy-efficient refrigerated trucks do not utilize diesel for cooling and eliminate the need for on board compressor, thereby significantly reducing carbon emissions.  Its reefer vans and trucks are designed for intra-city/last-mile or inter-city food distribution and were recently awarded by RefCold India and Emerson.

Promethean works with premier food industry customers such as Hatsun, ITC, Amul, Fonterra, Parag, Akshayakalpa and Licious.  The company has more than 1500 units in operation in India, South Asia and East Africa.

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About Food Logistics

Food Logistics is published by AC Business Media, a business-to-business media company that provides targeted content and comprehensive, integrated advertising and promotion opportunities for some of the world’s most recognized B2B brands. Its diverse portfolio serves the construction, logistics, supply chain and other industries with print, digital and custom products, events, and social media.


Keywords: Promethean, refrigeration, chilling, award, dairy, cold-chain, farm, cold-storage, fresh, thermal, cooling, diesel, food logistics, top green providers, eco-friendly, generator, off-grid


Acumen Invests in Promethean Power Systems

Acumen Invests in Promethean Power Systems


Acumen has invested $1 million in Promethean Power Systems, a company producing off-grid rural milk chillers in India. 

Access to reliable power supply remains a challenge in rural India: in 2018, an average of only six of India’s 29 states had 24-hour power supply in rural areas. The lack of energy poses a storage and cooling problem in the dairy industry, which sources milk from small-scale farmers spread across remote regions. Inconsistent rural energy supply makes operating local milk collection centers cost-prohibitive for national dairy companies as they would have to use expensive diesel generators to chill farmers’ milk. Instead, these companies often pay aggregators to collect farmers’ milk and bring it to the nearest chilling center, which can be a few hours’ drive away.

This is problematic for dairy farmers as well. To stop bacterial activity and preserve its quality, drawn milk must be chilled as soon as possible. However, because farmers’ milk waits for collection in unrefrigerated canisters—in vehicles with no cooling insulation—up to 30 percent of the milk can spoil, lowering the yield and decreasing farmers’ potential income.

India is the world’s largest milk producer—contributing as many as 167M tons each year—and farmers and dairy companies lose $1 billion of milk annually due to a lack of chilling facilities at the source.

Acumen’s new investee, Promethean Power Systems, was started to address the issue of rural cooling with its new milk refrigerators. Powered by efficient, thermal batteries, Promethean’s refrigerators chill batches of 1,000-2,000 liters of milk in areas with inconsistent power supply and reduce the cost of remote refrigeration by two-thirds. “While dairy is the largest ‘crop’ in India, the development of the sector has not kept pace with best sourcing practices from a quality perspective as well as value to the farmer. Promethean is a great opportunity for Acumen to learn from efficient energy use to improve the livelihoods of farmers,” says Mahesh Yagnaraman, Acumen’s India Country Director.

Promethean’s cost-effective solution makes it financially possible for large dairy companies like Hatsun and Heritage Foods to run local milk collection centers with the purchase of Promethean chillers. These centers eliminate the need for aggregators and have more accurate milk pricing machines—factors that together increase farmers’ incomes by up to 20 percent. Promethean has reached over 60,000 farmers across six states in India to date.

And they are just getting started. Acumen’s investment will be used to fund Promethean’s new business line providing dairy companies with technical support and data analytics along with the rental of a chiller unit—an offering allowing Promethean to reach and impact more low-income farmers. “Our core technology can be customized to serve diverse refrigeration needs. The investment from Acumen will support R&D and commercialization of some exciting new products and offerings in our pipeline.” said Jofi Joseph, Promethean’s VP of Sales and Operations.

“We are excited to partner with Acumen to accelerate the adoption of our decentralized energy-efficient cold chain solutions from first mile to last mile. As demand for safe, high-quality and convenient food products increase, our innovative cooling solutions will ensure quality, reduce food loss and redefine cold chain from farm to fork.” said Jiten Ghelani, CEO of Promethean Power Systems.

Promethean is Acumen’s sixth investment as part of our Pioneer Energy Investment Initiative (PEII).

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Promethean Power: A chill pill for dairy farmers


Jofi Joseph; VP of Sales & Operations, Promethean Power at a milk chilling unit in Pune

The company's tank-based milk refrigeration system is an alternative to diesel options, bringing cooling costs down from 50 paisa per litre to just 18 paisa

The total milk produced in India daily is close to 400 million litres, of which 100 million litres goes for processing. And, of the 100 million litres, only 20 million litres is chilled at the village level, as per the National Dairy Development Board.

Dairies don’t go to remote locations because the cost of setting up a milk chiller is high while farmers have no way of getting their milk to the bigger dairies. They end up going to the local market to sell it, in which case the chance of spoilage is high, or they sell it to a middleman who will take a cut. 

It was as an attempt to solve this problem for dairy farmers that Sam White and Sorin Grama set up Promethean Power Systems in 2010, while working on a project for Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, in India. 

“When they started, Sorin and Sam wanted to work in the space of solar energy, but soon they realised it was expensive. During their research they met someone from the Karnataka Milk Federation who told them about the problem of milk spoilage. That’s when they got the idea of setting up a milk chilling facility in villages,” says Jofi Joseph, vice president, sales and operations, at Promethean. The founders, who continue to be shareholders of the company, are based in the US. 

Traditionally, milk chilling in villages is done using diesel generators while Promethean’s tank-based solution is attached to a thermal battery that can chill milk in about 2 hours and 15 minutes. The battery also continues to operate even if there is no electricity once it has been charged for four hours. “Due to the high cost and hassles of running milk chillers in remote areas, dairies were not interested in going to villages. So, we came up with the idea of using thermal batteries,” adds Joseph. Promethean’s chilling cost is 18 paisa per litre, whereas the one run with diesel costs 50 paisa per litre. 

Promethean’s clients include Amul, Hutsun, Mother Dairy, Parag, Nestle and Heritage. The company also signs long-term contracts with clients to lease machines on a per litre basis for those who don’t wish to buy its technology. “When farmers come to deposit milk, they are given a slip mentioning the amount of milk and the dairy pays the farmer ₹25 per litre through direct bank transfer,” says Joseph who has put sensors in all systems that ensure there is no adulteration as well as send out alerts in case there is no electricity or there is a temperature fluctuation. 

The company clocked a turnover of $3 million this financial year and installed 330 units all over India. They also export their units to Tanzania, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They hope to increase the number to 500 units by next year. It intends to become an end-to-end cold chain solution provider. This year it installed 20 cold-storage rooms for farm or dairy produce.

Read the full article here

Dairy Farmers Reap Benefits of Milk Chiller Technology

Since the installation of Promethean Power Systems milk chillers, the lives of farmers have changed for the better.

The thermal-energy based technology was installed at PRAN Dairy milk collection centres at Shahjadpur and Khamar Shanila in Sirajganj in December last year.

An official of PRAN dairy complex at Shahjadpur, said: “Although this machine requires more space and electricity, it has made dairy businesses more profitable.”

“This power system plays an important role in reducing loss that we faced earlier due to inadequate refrigeration and poor storage. The waste has reduced to 0.01% from 8%,” he added.

Afzal Hossain, farmer of Shahjadpur, decided to buy better quality cow breeds to expand his farm. He also made a pucca cowshed last year.

He expressed satisfaction at the higher prices he now gets by selling milk.

“Sometimes the milk that I sold would be returned as they would perish without proper refrigeration. But now I do not face this issue as the company has installed a new machine in our area’s milk collection point which prevents milk from perishing fast,’’ Afzal said.

Selina Akter, another farmer, said: “Before installation of the new machine at our locality, I provided milk to other ‘samity’ (company) where I got lower prices.”

She is content with the current prices and plans to enlarge her farm, and buy lands for her family’s better accommodation.

“Earlier the dairy farmers did not get the fair price for milk. We only got an average price while providing milk to other companies. But now we get a fixed price based on milk fat, thus facilitating better prices for us,” Afzal said.

After the installation of this machine, production cost has come down. It works without generator during power outage and provides backup for hours, officials at Pran dairy complex said.

The machine has not only benefited the company but also the farmers, they said.

Sobuj, operator of milk chillers of Khamar Shanila milk collection point, said: “It is quite easy to operate the machine. It is eco-friendly, and emits no smoke. It is accessible and efficient.”


National Conference on Doubling Farmer Income

Promethean invited to participate in National Conference on Doubling Farmer Income.

CII Confers honour on Promethean Power Systems

ST Correspondent | Sakaal Times
September, 2017

Promethean Power Systems, India’s leading cold chain company, was awarded the “Significant Achievement in Innovation” award for its innovative cooling solutions by CII (Confederation of Indian Industry).

Promethean Power Systems, one ofIndia’s leading cold chain companies,was honoured by CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) for Significant Achievement in Innovation recently.  The company has manufacturing and testing facilities in Pune, with a technology and research centre in Boston, USA.

The award recognizes Promethean’s accomplishments in developing cold chain solutions for India’s leading food processors that are cost-effective and eco-friendly, based on its patented thermal-energy storage technology for milk chilling and cold-storage applications.

The prestigious 7th National Cold Chain Summit and Awards were held by CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) on 25th September, 2017 in New Delhi and showcased emerging technologies and advancements for the cold chain sector in India. One of the most notable awards granted for the “Significant Achievement in Innovation” was presented to Promethean for its years of persistent hard work, dedication and belief that technology could create a win-win-win solution for food and dairy processors, smallholder farmers and consumers.

According to officials, Promethean’s products enable its customers to reliably chill and preserve perishable food by eliminating the need for diesel generator backup. “The company’s Rapid Milk Chillers, Bulk Milk Coolers and Cold Storage Solutions are creating cost-effective solutions for cold-chain food distribution in emerging markets along with delivering social and environmental benefits. Promethean has now installed over 600 milk chillers and cold storage solutions across India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka,“ they stated.

“We are honoured to be selected by CII for this prestigious award as it further validates the impact of our technology on food quality in India’s agricultural sector”, said Jiten Ghelani, CEO, Promethean Power Systems.

Jofi Joseph, Vice President, Promethean Power Systems, accepted the award and added “We strive to be the first choice for clients requiring cold chain solutions by adapting our technology to solve significant challenges in the agricultural supply chain for our customers”.



BRAC Dairy Eliminates Milk Spoilage

FE Online Desk | 26 Jun 2017

The partnership between BRAC and Promethean Power Systems to reduce spoilage of raw milk produced by dairy farmers has proven a success. Buoyed by the success of their initial investment in five Rapid Milk Chillers, BRAC has recently purchased 19 more similar units from Promethean. The aim is to link more dairy farmers to key markets while maintaining the quality of raw milk, said a statement.

BRAC collects milk from over 100 village-level chilling centers, where at least 50,000 dairy farmers pool their daily produce, to sell packaged dairy products under its Aarong brand. In the long run, this is expected to bring more consumers into the fold of the formal, processed and packaged milk market in Bangladesh.


Promethean Power’s Rapid Milk Chillers use a patented thermal energy storage technology that instantly chills raw milk to 4 degrees centigrade at the milk collection centers even in the absence of grid electricity and without using a diesel generator, has revolutionized quality assurance mechanism by helping farmers preserve milk it is collected for processing by overcoming common limitations faced by farmers in the developing nations – irregular electricity supply, poor infrastructure, and expensive diesel generator backup.

As milk spoilage rates have dramatically dipped following the installation of the Rapid Milk Chillers, BRAC has been able to instill greater confidence among dairy farmers about finding guaranteed offtake of their milk every day. As timely milk chilling continues to bring better returns to farmers based on the quality of milk, many have made profits substantial enough to afford an investment in new cows — a mark of both progress and prestige in the local community.

Nour-E-Alom, Manager, Milk Procurement, BRAC Dairy and Food Enterprise, said that they were looking for a solution that would be cost effective, eco-friendly, and scalable. “Promethean’s solution for our milk collection center is both cost effective and eco-friendly and we are extremely happy with the results. By installing Promethean’s Rapid Milk Chillers in the villages, we are able to eliminate wastage by over 90% and increase the volume of our collection,” he said.

Jofi Joseph, Director of Sales and Marketing, Promethean Power Systems, said, “By helping chill raw milk at the village collection center without the need for a diesel generator, Promethean’s Rapid Milk Chillers present a simple and cost-effective solution to similar problems that developing milk-producing nations face. BRAC, with its Aarong brand, is doing a commendable job of helping farmers augment their income by linking them to urban markets. We are pleased to help BRAC realize its mission to channel quality milk from rural to urban areas.”

Promethean Power’s innovative solutions have already attracted attention and is gaining in popularity across the subcontinent.

Read the article here.



Bulk milk coolers: A cool way to chill for dairies and farmers

Garima Rakesh Mishra | The Indian Express
February 23, 2017 1:50 am

The near-quadrupling of milk procurement by dairy cooperatives in Gujarat over the last 15 years — from an average of 45 lakh litres to about 170 lakh litres per day — has been attributed no less to a single factor: 24-hour power in rural areas, including guaranteed three-phase supply for eight hours, enabling village-level societies to install bulk milk coolers (BMC). These, with capacities ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 litres, chill the milk to around 4 degrees celsius at the primary collection point itself, inhibiting microbial growth that can lead to undesirable quality/taste changes and expedite spoilage. 

But maintaining the freshness of raw milk sourced from farmers isn’t all that the BMCs have done.

In the pre-BMC era, the milk collected by the society had to reach the dairy plant by 8:30 am or so, before day temperatures rose. It required procurement to start by 6 am and farmers undertaking milking at least an hour earlier, so as to not miss the tanker. The sheer need to hurry through the process, moreover, limited the number of animals that could be milked. With BMCs, the milk was chilled at source and remained fresh, which gave farmers the flexibility to deliver even at 9 am. They could now afford to expand their herd size and supply more milk.

Today, an estimated 80 per cent of milk collected by Gujarat’s dairy unions comes through BMCs and it is not difficult to see the link between these and higher procurement volumes.

Not every state, unfortunately though, is Gujarat — where farmers have assured electricity supply allowing milk to be chilled not very long after it has left the udders of cows or buffaloes. In much of rural India, power supply is irregular, which means even BMCs cannot do without the backup of diesel generators.

This is where an innovation by Promethean Power Systems, a Pune-based company founded by two men from Boston has made a difference. In 2011, Sorin Grama and Sam White built the final prototype of a Rapid Milk Chiller (RMC) based on a proprietary Thermal Storage System (TSS) technology. At the heart of it lay a thermal battery, which drew and stored electricity from the grid as and when available. This stored energy it then released to rapidly chill the milk collected from farmers at ambient temperatures — say, 35 degrees — to 4 degrees Celsius.

Read the full article.


How Promethean Power Systems is revitalizing dairy farming industry

Sneha Jha | Economic Times CIO
February 01, 2017, 11:55 IST

L: Jiten Ghelani, CEO, Promethean Power Systems R: Jofi Joseph, Director – Sales & Marketing, Promethean Power Systems.

Khanderao Nimbhorkar, a 45-year-old dairy farmer from Ahmednagar district’s Hattalkhindi village, is brimming with confidence and excitement. His dairy farming activities now fetch him a tidy sum of Rs 20,000 per month. Coming this far would not have been possible for Nimbhorkar without the help of Pune-based refrigeration solution provider Promethean Power systems. Co-founded by Boston-based entrepreneurs Sorin Grama and Sam White, the company has come up with a socially-relevant invention to strengthen the weakest link in the chain of dairy farming: milk collection.

As the largest milk producer and consumer in the world, India has earned the sobriquet of the oyster of the global dairy industry. It accounts for 18 percent of global milk production in the world. Rural India churns out 102 million gallons of milk every year, generating employment for over 75 million dairy farmers.

Read the full story here

Eventual sweet taste of success

Anjuli Bhargava | Business Standard
January 30, 2017

In life, it’s easier to fail than to succeed. Romania-born Sorin Grama and US-born Sam White learnt this the hard way in India. The two are co-founders of Promethean Power Systems, a company they set up in India some years earlier, moved base to Delhi for a while to sell their idea and, after having tasted many failures, seem to finally be on the way to achieving a degree of success. In 2007, the duo first came to India to try and sell a technology developed by some of their fellow MIT students. 

Promethean Power Systems to expand into Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

Satyanarayan Iyer (The Times of India)
Jan 11, 2017, 09.29 PM IST

PUNE: City-based refrigeration solution provider, Promethean Power Systems, said that it now will foray into the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The company, founded in the US in 2007, launched a manufacturing and testing facility in India in 2013. Since then, Promethean said it has sold over 500 milk chilling units to its dairy partners in India – most of them in villages.

“Data collected over the last three years shows that at nearly every site, Promethean’s milk chillers have helped deliver benefits on three fronts: reduction in milk spoilage, improvement in milk quality, and elimination of diesel for power back-up,” the company said in a statement.

Promethean now also plans to take its chillers, which are entirely made in India, to other countries in South Asia as well as new markets in east Africa.

“Anticipating an increase in new orders, Promethean has ramped up local manufacturing in Pune to double its current capacity, which now stands at 300 units per year,” the company said in a statement.


Two Men from the US Are Helping Dairy Farmers in Rural India Keep Milk Chilled without Electricity

Two Men from the US Are Helping Dairy Farmers in Rural India Keep Milk Chilled without Electricity

Promethean Power Systems has developed a milk chiller that operates on a thermal energy battery and can function even in remote Indian villages receiving intermittent electricity supply. Founded by US-based Sorin Grama and Sam White in 2007, Promethean Power has installed over 200 milk chilling systems throughout rural India. About 20 farmers can use one chiller. These are farmers who were unable to supply milk to dairies earlier because they couldn’t refrigerate the milk without reliable electricity.

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An MIT Lesson in Failure Helps Deliver Fresh Milk to Millions in India

By Jason Margolis | PRI
August 23, 2016

Sorin Grama had a great idea. Like, a really terrific idea. It was so good, MIT awarded him one of its most prestigious entrepreneurship prizes: second place in the university’s annual 100K Entrepreneurship Competition.

Grama’s team built a machine using old car parts that can heat water without electricity. Think of the possibilities in rural parts of the developing world: Medical clinics could sterilize devices, people could clean clothes with warm water, or they could just take a hot shower, all without being connected to a grid. Revolutionary, right?

Grama took the invention to India expecting a huge response. Instead, he got: “Yeah, OK, that’s fine. But it doesn’t solve our problem.”

He had miscalculated. Rural Indians didn’t want to talk about hot water; they wanted to talk about cold milk.

“We were a classic case of a technology looking for a problem to solve,” Grama says.

Click here to read the full article.

Promethean Founder Returns From India With Lessons For Entrepreneurs

By Jeff Engel | Xconomy
July 11th, 2016

Xconomy Boston — When Promethean Power Systems’ founders wrote the original business plan for their cleantech startup at MIT, they intended to sell their products in India first. But none of them had ever set foot on Indian soil.

After winning $10,000 as the runner-up in the MIT $100K pitch competition in 2007, co-founders Sorin Grama and Sam White decided it was time to visit their target market, Grama says.

“The reality was a lot different than what we had put in our business plan,” Grama (pictured above, left) says. “So different, in fact, that nobody wanted this contraption we were building”—a system that would harness the sun’s energy to produce hot water and electricity. “We realized we were just another classic case of a solution looking for a problem to solve.”

They found a problem by chance, Grama says, during a meeting in India with the managing director of a dairy business. He described the difficulty in efficiently collecting milk from farmers in small villages, and keeping it fresh.

Click here to read original article!

The Challenge of Hardware Startups

By Tim Binkert & Clinton Parks
May 10, 2016

Founding any new business is extremely difficult and more hard work than most people can imagine. Founding a new technology-based business is arguably tougher than that, and founding a tech hardware (rather than software) venture even tougher than that. But perhaps the toughest of all is developing and scaling a technology-based hardware venture in remote areas with scarce resources for the benefit people living in extreme poverty.

A new report from FSG, Hardware Pioneers: Harnessing the Impact Potential of Technology Entrepreneurs, funded by The Lemelson Foundation, investigates the obstacles specific to these hardware pioneers–people working on toilets, lighting, clean water and other innovations that if brought to scale could have major impact on the health, lifespan, and productivity of the world’s poor.

Click here to read original article!

Promethean Power Systems and Fonterra Partner to Boost Milk Quality in Sri Lanka

Somerville, Mass. and Colombo, Sri Lanka – May 2, 2016 – Promethean Power Systems and Fonterra, the dairy co-operative behind Anchor milk brand, have partnered to introduce a new rapid milk chilling technology that will drastically improve the quality of Sri Lankan milk.

In just a matter of seconds, Promethean Power Systems’ rapid chillers chill the milk that the farmers deliver to their local collection centers. The technology – the first of its kind – uses an innovative thermal energy storage device to overcome limited and sometimes unreliable electricity supply in rural areas.

The milk chiller is being piloted at Fonterra’s milk collection center in Doluwa, with plans to roll out the technology across Fonterra’s milk collection network across Sri Lanka.

Mr. Saman Perera, Fonterra’s Dairy Development Programme Manager, said: “Fonterra is committed to working with Sri Lankan dairy farmers to improve milk quality and increase local supply; however, Sri Lanka’s hot climate and low milk density means that getting milk quickly to the right temperature can be a challenge.”

“An important part of our efforts to improve milk quality is using refrigeration systems that can chill milk in a cost-effective and safe way closer to the rural dairy farmers who supply it. This helps to reduce milk waste in the supply chain, and creates more value for our farmers,” said Mr. Perera.

Promethean Power Systems manufactures a range of milk chillers which are quickly being adopted in other countries, such as India, because of their ability to chill the milk rapidly to four degrees Celsius using limited grid power. Promethean’s innovation is centered on a thermal battery designed specifically for refrigeration applications in rural areas. “The thermal battery serves a dual purpose: it provides backup for the unreliable grid and it releases thermal energy to rapidly chill the milk and preserve its quality”, said Mr. Sorin Grama, Promethean’s co-founder and principal inventor of the technology.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, conducted a search for global technologies suitable for village-level cooling in the dairy sector. It found that Promethean Power

Systems’ milk chilling technology could provide a viable solution. This research led to the Fonterra-Promethean partnership to install the first rapid milk chiller of its kind in Sri Lanka.

“Introducing cooling systems at the village level can both improve the quality of milk and increase the quantity of available milk,” said Amena Arif, IFC’s Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives. “This partnership will improve the livelihoods of thousands of dairy farmers, and increase the availability of fresh milk in Sri Lanka.”

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The rot stops here

RASHMI PRATAP | The Hindu BusinessLine
April 8, 2016

The country annually wastes about 40 per cent of its fruit and vegetable produce, valued at $8 billion. A handful of start-ups want to plug this loss with innovative cold-storage solutions

Miles away in Pune, Marc Cremer and his workers at GreenTokri farms pack fresh lettuce leaves every morning for distribution to customers across the city. Cremer has invested in a cold storage machine, where lettuce from his farm goes directly after harvesting and is instantly cooled to 3°C before being packed into thermocol boxes with Cryo-Gel. So the salads arrive farm-fresh at the retail outlets at 3pm. The cold storage at GreenTokri greatly reduces wastage, an evil that plagues most of India’s farming sector.

Click here to view original article

Transforming the way milk is stored

Anmar Frangoul | Special to

As the global population increases, the issue of food waste is becoming increasingly pressing.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, 30 to 40 percent of the world's food production does not even make it to market, with roughly 1.3 billion tons of food – valued at more than $1 trillion – either wasted or lost.

In some parts of the world, the consequences of such wastage can be stark. A 2014 report from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers states a lack of proper storage results in the loss of "up to 50 percent of fruit and vegetables" in Sub-Saharan Africa and India, while 25 percent of milk produced during Tanzania's wet season is also wasted.

An MIT start-up has developed technology that is dramatically improving the way milk can be stored in Indian communities where access to electricity is difficult and reliable refrigeration is limited.

"Most Indian villages have grid power, they have electricity," Sorin Grama, co-founder and CTO of Promethean Power Systems, told CNBC in a phone interview. "They're not completely off grid, they just don't have power 24 hours a day, they don't have it when they need it," he added.

Click here to read the full article.

MIT Spinout’s Milk Chillers Reduce Spoilage and Boost Yields in Villages

Rob Matheson | MIT News Office
September 7, 2015

India is the world’s leading milk producer, with many of its people relying on milk as a primary source of income. Indian dairies buy milk from local farmers at village collection centers, and then sell the milk or use it to make dairy products.

But with rural India’s limited electric grid, often available for only several hours daily, keeping milk fresh — it must be refrigerated within a few hours of milking — becomes very difficult. Many dairies use expensive diesel generators for refrigeration, or risk high percentages of spoiled product: Of the roughly 130 million tons of milk produced by India each year, millions of tons go to waste or reach the market as low-quality dairy products that pose safety threats. All this also reduces the income of Indian farmers

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A Better Way to Keep Milk Fresh

Richard Martin | MIT Technology Review
July 21, 2015


Sometime this week a large milk refrigerator will arrive in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Since Bangladesh produces nearly four million tons of milk per year, that hardly seems remarkable; but this is a special kind of refrigerator.

Made by Promethean Power Systems, a company based in Pune, India, and Boston, the system keeps milk chilled with a thermal battery that stores energy and releases it, as cooling power, over the course of a day. Like India, Bangladesh has an outdated power grid that supplies electricity sporadically—often as little as a few hours per day. Rural dairy farmers on the subcontinent bring their milk to village collection centers that typically rely on diesel generators, a costly, dirty way of providing electricity.

Two Americans, Sam White and Sorin Grama, founded Promethean Power in 2007 to address a simple but widespread and pressing problem: how to keep milk cold without burning diesel fuel. They’ve been selling refrigerators in India for two years; this week marks their first export to neighboring Bangladesh.

“We’ve been at this for eight years,” says White, and “we’ve gone through all sorts of different technologies, attempts, and failures to figure out a solution.”

At first, he says, they were determined to craft a technology that relied on solar power—a noble attempt that ultimately failed because solar power, like grid power in India and Bangladesh, is by its nature intermittent, and refrigerators need constant power. Eventually they settled on a thermal energy storage system that uses a phase-change material to store energy in the form of ice. When the grid is operating, a portion of the material freezes, and the battery circulates that thermal energy into a heat exchanger to keep milk chilled over the course of the day. The thermal battery can store up to 28 kilowatt-hours of energy.

Read the full story here