Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara: Santa Clara University, 2014.


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Hohyun Lee


The majority of the world’s population suffers from insufficient access to quality health care, partly attributed to the inaccessibility of vaccines for isolated rural areas as well as inconsistent temperature control during transportation. This concept known as “last-mile distribution” has become a major focus for humanitarian and relief groups, since there is little success in maintaining the efficacy of vaccines during the last stage of transportation. To directly address this issue, we have designed and prototyped a mobile cooler that will safely transport and distribute vaccines at their proper storage temperature of 2-8 ºC in the developing world, using thermoelectric modules as a solid-state cooling device. Through testing, the second prototype cooler was able to maintain an internal temperature of 3.3 ºC at a total power consumption of 16.1 W. This device is actively cooled, unlike current passive cooling containers that utilize ice packs in insulated boxes, unable to control temperature after being opening and closed. The device is primarily used for transportation, though it can be used for storage as long as power is available. This device is intended for young women in developing nations, specifically Uganda, susceptible to human papillomavirus (HPV), in order to deliver the full potency of the vaccine, with the intention to prevent cervical cancer outbreaks. This device has the potential to serve as a successful method of transportation for critical medical supplies.

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