Fuentek's Tech Transfer Blog

NASA Technology Licensed for Off-Grid Refrigeration Of Vaccines

Fuentek plays key role in license

Technology that was originally created by NASA engineers to cool lunar bases has been licensed to SunDanzer Refrigeration Inc. to help people in remote places here on Earth. The Innovation Partnerships Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center granted the non-exclusive license, with Fuentek facilitating the process. The license has the potential to bring the solar-powered refrigeration systems technology into the developing world and save lives, while also protecting the environment.

SunDanzer plans to use the technology to develop and market one of the first battery-free, solar-powered refrigerators for safely storing vaccines. The technology offers exciting advantages over battery-powered solar units. Batteries have a limited life span, which increases long-term costs and waste. NASA’s technology is energy efficient, cost effective, and proven through tests in laboratory and remote locations around the globe. Best of all, the SunDanzer battery-free, solar-powered vaccine refrigerator has excellent potential to benefit nearly two billion people that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates are without access to electricity that is essential for storing vaccines.

How important are vaccinations in the developing world? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which recently committed $10 billion to distribute vaccines to people in developing nations as reported by, estimates that increasing delivery of life-saving vaccines to the developing world for ailments such as severe diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria can prevent the deaths of approximately 8.7 million children under age 5 through 2019.

SunDanzer is currently working to obtain prequalification for its vaccine refrigerator under the WHO’s new safety and reliability standards. SunDanzer recently completed the Battery-Free Solar Refrigerator Challenge, sponsored by the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), earning the company conditional approval of funding for third-party testing, a key step in WHO prequalification. WHO prequalification is an important designation for aid organizations, governments and other entities that are the most likely purchasers of this technology.

For more information about how Fuentek helps clients like NASA achieve these licensing successes, contact us at (919) 249-0327 or

–By Doug Foster