As mentioned, the first approved vaccine, Pfizer BioNtech, requires storage at -60°C. Maintaining this temperature presents a significant challenge. The use of Vacuum Insulation Panel (VIP) technology offers a method to maintain these temperatures in an energy-efficient way. VIP provides a very low thermal conductivity of 0.004W (m.K), with a typical container wall thickness of 25 – 60 mm. By comparison, conventional mineral wool of 150 mm thickness would have a value of 0.04W (m.K).
This results in not only greater efficiency but also more storage within the refrigeration unit.
This technology also has more comprehensive applications for insulating older buildings without significant loss of internal space while significantly reducing the carbon footprint.
VIP structure comprises three parts: insulating material, a gas adsorption material (Getter), and a closed insulating film (barrier). This secure insulating barrier is pumped to a high vacuum level before sealing, thus offering exceptional insulation properties.
A typical vacuum system is shown below: