Learning Paper: The Challenges of Testing Off-Grid Refrigerators

This paper summarises some of the challenges of field-testing off-grid refrigerators within the UK aid-funded Global LEAP Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition.

The Ideas to Impact programme, funded by the UK aid, is testing whether prizes can stimulate innovative solutions to longstanding development challenges for low-income households. Target areas include climate change adaptation and access to energy, water and sanitation.

Within the energy access theme, the Global LEAP Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition aims to encourage the development of off-grid energy-efficient refrigerators that are affordable and suitable for communities in areas without access to electricity.

Since 2017, IMC Worldwide, Energy 4 Impact, and CLASP have been testing off-grid refrigerators submitted by global manufacturers to determine efficiency, reliability and design appropriateness for off-grid users.

This paper summarises some of the challenges faced during the field testing phase of the Global LEAP Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition, and how the team worked around them, ensuring the competition remained fair and relevant.