Over the past weekend, we completed our first field test of the xCOLD prototype by sponsoring the water station at the CBHA (Columbia Basin Health Association) Color Run in Othello, WA. For those that don’t know, the xCOLD is a solar-purpose built mobile refrigeration and cooling system. The xCOLD is designed to be as efficient as possible to maximize power from solar panels and has the flexibility to cool down a variety of different structures. For more details, check out the Solutions section on our website.
Our setup for the event included a quick pitch event tent, the xCOLD unit, and 6 solar panels on mobile arrays. This setup mimics one of primary use cases—temporary cooling tents. This setup could be used to cool agricultural workers in warm climates, provide a comfortable climate at an outdoor event, provide temporary cooling in disaster relief efforts, etc.
Although it wasn’t a blistering hot day, we were very happy with the results. We ran the xCOLD for multiple hours without interruption and we were consistently seeing a 20 degree Fahrenheit temperature differential between the air input and output. We were also very pleased to see that when the sun was fully shining, we were able to run the unit at full speed and still charge the battery.
Over the next month, we will continue to test the unit’s capabilities. This includes adding some insulating material to the tent to see the true capabilities this scenario, as the standard tent walls do not do a great job of reflecting heat. We will also look to test the unit in other structures such as a standard shipping container and a box truck.
We are very excited with the results that we have seen so far. They have been above our expectations and this makes us optimistic to our future designs, which we are already building out in our technology roadmap. We know we can make improvements to the design with the goal of further increasing the unit’s efficiency and driving down the cost.