Dearman: innovation and vision – Toby Peters

2017-05-22T16:47:31+00:00 February 23rd, 2015|Viewpoints|

At Dearman, vision drives innovation. Dearman’s vision is to make the world a cleaner, cooler place. The foundation of this vision is invention: the Dearman engine. With this new technology, Dearman has been presented with a very rare opportunity. Here you have an engine that doesn’t consume fossil fuel and produces no emissions at the point of use. What it does produce is power and lots of cold. It is in that unique characteristic, producing zero-emission power and cooling, that the opportunity lies. Clean cold is not only a significant opportunity for Dearman as a business, but it also has huge potential to help tackle this century’s global challenges.Cold is vital to modern society. When you send an email, receive a vaccination, have food delivered or shop at the supermarket, you are relying on cold. Without it, the supply of food, medicine and data would break down. In countries that lack adequate systems of temperature controlled storage and transport – cold chains – the wastage of food, energy and water are significant.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has estimated that 1.3 billion tonnes of food spoils between farm and fork due to inadequate cold chains every year – 40-50% of global production. This worsens hunger and poverty, making it impossible for producers to achieve a return on their harvest, driving up prices, and preventing economic growth. But it is not only food that is wasted – the land, labour, energy, time and water that have gone into its production are effectively squandered. 

The facts – postharvest food loss

  • consumes 230km3 of water, 3x the size of Lake Geneva
  • occupies 1.4 billion hectares of agricultural land
  • accounts for 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2, the third biggest emitter after the USA and China

Globally, the population is set to exceed 9 billion by 2050 – an increase that will put yet greater strain on the world’s resources. In order to ensure that the world can feed itself, and that ruinous environmental damage is avoided, we need to start doing cold better. The International Institute of Refrigeration estimates that 200 million tonnes of perishable food could be preserved if developing nations had the same level of cold chain as found in the developed world. However, doing so with existing methods, using diesel generators and polluting refrigeration units, would be catastrophic to both environment and health.

Doing cold better will mean establishing cold systems that are cleaner and cheaper. Dearman technology has the potential to leapfrog the traditional, polluting cold chain systems, and support new, clean cold infrastructure in developing and rapidly industrialising countries. Skills development and knowledge transfer, not to mention the creation of STEM training and jobs, will follow with sustainable economic growth. We believe that Dearman technology can be a core element of a joined-up Cold Economy, enabling cold to be stored, moved, and deployed on demand efficiently and economically.

We have realised that we have a huge opportunity in front of us, and now it is our responsibility to realise its global potential. It is our responsibility to start doing cold better.