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A standalone PV operated DC milk chiller for Indian climate zones

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This work illustrates the design of a standalone solar power system used to power a milk chiller with 200 W DC compressors using the PVsyst software for different climatic zones in India. The design includes determination of minimum number of PV panels and batteries and also the means of obtaining annual solar fraction values for five different climatic zones of India using the software. Simulations were performed considering two different operational modalities. The first modality considered a milk chiller with an inbuilt ice bank tank for cool thermal energy storage. The ice formed during sunshine hours take care of the cooling of the milk throughout. The second modality considered a milk chiller coupled with a battery backup to get charged during sunshine hours and to run the compressor throughout. The first modality was found to be advantageous in terms of PV panel requirement, battery backup as well as better solar fraction. Hence the same was experimentally studied for Chennai’s climate condition to confirm the maintenance of milk temperature. The power supply from the PV panel was simulated using a regulated power supply. While doing so, considering the maximum power point, the power supply was varied every hour as predicted by the PVsyst software. From the experiment, it was found that the required number of PV panels got reduced from 4 to 2 panels when considering the maximum power point for a typical summer day. The custom built milk chiller was able to chill down the milk from 37°C to 4°C within 2 hours on all days using cold energy from the ice bank tank.

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Ampere hour


Battery Driven DC compressor (HFC-134a)


Battery Driven DC compressor (HC-600a)


Bureau of Indian Standards


Coefficient of Performance

Cp :

Specific Heat (kJ kg−1 K−1)


Direct Current

E Coil 1:

Evaporator coil 1

E Coil 2:

Evaporator coil 2


Efficiency (%)


Fill Factor





hfg :

Enthalpy (kJ kg−1)


Ice Bank Tank


Mean current (A)


Short circuit current (A)



M1 :

Modality 1

M2 :

Modality 2


Maximum Power Point


Maximum Power Point Tracking


Polyurethane Foam



Qday1 :

Refrigeration Capacity end of first day (kW)

Qinfiltration loses :

Heat Infiltration Loses (kW)

Qrefrigeration 8hrs :

Refrigeration Capacity after 8 hours of sunshine (kW)


Regulated Power Supply


Resistance Series


Resistance Shunt


Stainless Steel




Mean voltage (V)


Open circuit voltage (V)



Wp :

Watt Peak


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The authors would like to acknowledge the following: UGC-MANF (F1-17.1/2016-17/MANF-2015-17-TAM-51497) India for the financial support. DST-SERB (EMR/2016/00159) for the financial support in developing the experimental setup. DST-FIST for the financial support in developing the psychrometric facility.

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Correspondence to Mohan Lal Dhasan.

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Sidney, S., Thomas, J. & Dhasan, M.L. A standalone PV operated DC milk chiller for Indian climate zones. Sādhanā 45, 110 (2020).

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