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.
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 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 quickly to rapidly chill the milk and preserve its quality”, said 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.”