What WE do




we Coolers

Lack of access to affordable energy and post harvest spoilage are long-standing problems facing Africa's rural farmers. Dairy farmers without access to electricity and refrigeration can lose up to half of the milk they produce due to spoilage. Most rural farmers must often travel long distances to deliver their milk to Milk Collection Centres (MCCs). As dairy cattle are milked daily in the mornings and evenings, it is typically impossible for dairy farmers to deliver and sell their morning milk without a solution to preserve the evening milk until it can be delivered to collection centres, leading to significant losses.

WE Company in partnership with the University of Hohenheim implement WE Coolers – an innovative farm-based solar milk cooling system that helps Africa's dairy farmers to increase their productivity up to 25%. The system utilizes powerful photovoltaic panels to power a Smart Ice production system specifically tailored to preserving evening milk. Complete with milk canisters customized for the system, the system allows rural farmers to increase their revenues through preventing spoilage and also provides lighting and phone charging capabilities contributing to rural electrification. With farmers increasing their production capacity, Milk Collection Centres (MCCs) also benefit through increased quality and quantity of milk, reduced energy use hence reduction in carbon emissions from diesel generators, thereby benefiting the entire rural value chain.

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How it Works

The WE Coolers System uses the ice produced by solar for cooling and preserving milk over a longer period of time.

The system consists of solar modules (600 Wp), two batteries (65 Ah each) and a DC freezer (equipped with an adaptive control unit for smart ice production). Furthermore, the system is equipped with 2 LED lights, a USB charging point and comes with various 30 litre stainless steel milk cans, which have an integrated ice container. In this way, the milk can be cooled until it is delivered to the cooperative.

The commercial freezer is powered by solar energy that enables efficient ice production. The system comes with 24 reusable plastic ice formers with a capacity of 2 kg. The produced ice blocks are placed in a removable ice compartment, which is inserted into the 30 litre cans to cool the freshly produced milk. This can also be used for other processes such as cooling meat or fish.

The smart ice machine is powered by 600 Wp solar PV modules together with two batteries with a total capacity of around 1.5 kWh. Thanks to the thermal energy storage in the form of 24 2kg blocks of ice, the system can operate autonomously for up to 5 days even in low sunlight and high ambient temperatures.