Promethean Power Systems - Invents thermal energy based milk chillers to facilitate milk storage

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Invents thermal energy based milk chillers to facilitate milk storage. Manufacturing facility located at Pune, Maharashtra


India is among the largest milk producing countries in the world but loses tons of milk to spoilage due to lack of timely chilling solutions. What compounds this problem is that the electricity that trickles into villages isn’t enough to run milk chillers and diesel-powered generators (often used 50-100% of the time during milk collection) are prohibitively expensive for many milk chilling centers!


US based Mr. Sorin Grama and Mr. Sam White on their 2007 India trip could see the gaping need for energy-efficient milk chilling solutions after close interaction with people in rural India. As a result, they conducted more research and came up with an inventive solution of thermal-energy-storage-based milk chillers. They established Promethean Power Systems to offer innovative solutions for cold-storage applications for developing countries. In India the manufacturing facility is located at Pune, Maharashtra. Mr. Jiten Ghelani, CEO, Promethean Power Systems shares details on company manufactured thermal-energy-storage-based milk chillers. Excerpts:
Jiten Ghelani.jpg
Mr. Jiten Ghelani

Promethean’s milk chillers are designed to bring milk temperature down from 35 degrees centigrade to 4 degrees centigrade even in areas with limited power supply, without diesel generators. Our milk chillers are thermal energy storage solution. This thermal energy solution, which now holds a patent, draws energy from the grid when electricity is available and then releases that stored energy to chill milk when the need arises.


The most prominent advantages of our milk chillers are: collection of better quality of milk, lower operating costs, and a higher eco-friendly quotient. The product is offered in three categories – a conventional style bulk milk chiller, rapid milk chiller and cold storage system.



The capacity of the conventional milk chiller ranges from 500–2,000liters per day. The rapid milk chiller can chill up to 1,000 liters of milk per day. However, we are able to offer both standard products and customized solutions based on what specific dairy processors require. The space required for the entire milk chilling system is about 250 to 270 sq.ft.

Conventional Milk Chiller.jpg
Conventional Milk Chiller


Rapid Milk Chiller.jpg
Rapid milk chiller

How it works?

Promethean’s systems run on a patented thermal energy storage system (similar to a “battery” backup) that comprises a phase changing material enclosed in a series of tubes. These tubes are submersed in a freeze-resistant heat transfer fluid. These components form the core thermal energy storage system.


This system is connected to a refrigeration compressor for charging purposes. Once energy is stored, then it can be released from the “battery” and used for multiple applications including rapid chilling, conventional milk chilling or cold storage. When grid electricity is available, the compressor cools the heat transfer fluid that in turn causes the phase change material in the storage system to freeze.


In the case of rapid chilling, the “battery” releases thermal energy that is circulated around a heat exchanger by the heat transfer fluid. By storing and releasing thermal energy using this technique, milk can be chilled to four degrees centigrade instantly.



Price

The chillers cost roughly Rs. 5-6 lakh. Although the initial cost is slightly higher than the conventional bulk milk coolers with diesel generators, Promethean’s system delivers remarkable savings in operating and maintenance costs. It also helps dairies cut back on the cost of purchasing and transporting diesel. Moreover, using the Promethean solution helps curb CO2 emissions by nearly 20% as compared to the conventional system.



Cost-Benefit Ratio

Assuming a bulk milk cooler with 50% usage of a diesel generator, a Promethean 1,000-liter system is cheaper to operate and fully pays for itself in 5 to 7 years. Since it is made specifically for cooling, it can also deliver more rapid cooling power. Further, as it has no moving parts, it is much simpler and easier to operate and maintain.



Dairy Processor, the target customers

We have a substantial customer base in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and UP. As of November 2016, more than 300 Promethean dairy chillers have been installed in leading dairies across India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Hatsun, Heritage Foods, Mother Dairy, Amul, Fonterra and BRAC are among our customers.


Farmers enjoy benefits in the form of greater flexibility in the timing of milk delivery to collection centers and better rates for milk. The response from dairy processors has thus far been encouraging and this has enabled Promethean to bring production and sales to scale. Our milk chillers have already chilled over 75 million liters of milk as of date and have helped save 250,000 liters of diesel. As a result, over 10,000 farmers have benefited from our products.



R&D is conducted at Boston, USA as well as Pune, India. The milk chillers are manufactured and tested at our Pune facility. Our current production capacity stands at nearly 60 units per month. Promethean’s corporate office in India is based in Pune with regional teams based in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, UP and AP/Telangana.


Future Plans

In the immediate future, we aim to strengthen our foothold in the Indian market. To do this, we will be working even more closely with our existing market and delve deeper into the dairy industry and ancillary areas to discover emerging trends where our solutions might fit. We are also in talks with new customers to develop village-level chilling solutions. Plans are also afoot to take our solutions to new markets in Africa and South Asia. We aim to notch sales of INR 20 crores in FY16, which would translate to 300℅ y-o-y growth.


(As told to Shweta Dhanuka)


Contact details:

Promethean Spenta Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Survey 25/2K, Ravet Road [Near Dange Chowk], Tathawade, Pune - 411033, Maharashtra, India

Phone no.: +91 020 65001106

Email: info@promethean-power.com

Web: http://promethean-power.com/
 
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