At B Medical Systems we have received lately more and more complaints about RCW50EG, absorption type vaccine refrigerator / ice pack freezer, that stopped working or never started working correctly. The largest complaint came from the EPI in Kenya with 200 X RCW50EG not working. The RCW50EG and the smaller version of it, the RCW42EG, have always been known as excellent equipment in the cold chain, and never had any issues, therefore initialy we thought it must just have been wrong use, settings or similar issues.
Seen the claims we have started investigating where that huge and systematic problem might have come from, and here are the results : during the calendar year of 2011, our supplier of absorption cooling units did change the interior boiler layout of the cooling system in order to increase the efficiency. That would mean as a result less electrical power consumption and as well less gas consumption. It means as well that the cooling system is now more sensitive to the heat applied to the boiler through either the electrical heating element or the gas burner. Therefore, I am explaining hereafter the effects on the different types of operation, and this is valid for every RCW50EG produced as of 2012. You can identify the year of manufacturing with the help of the serial number that is composed by 7 digits, where the first digit is the year- and the 2nd and 3rd are the week of manufacturing: example 2503456 : produced in week 50 in year 2012
1) Operation on LP Gas :
The new cooling units will not work properly and mostly not at all with the original burner jet 32, that is producing too much heat. This jet has to be replaced by a jet size 26. This change makes sure the cooling unit operates well on gas.
2) Operation on electricity :
We deliver the RCW50EG in a 220V version with a 220V/120W heating element. This setting works well for voltages of 210-230VAC. If the voltage goes higher, it won't work. I am currently in Kenya and we measure constant voltages of 250VAC. In such a case the heater has too much power and overheats the absorption cooling system. We have replaced the heaters in Kenya on several refrigerators with a 240V / 120W version, and now they perfectly well.
If you have come around similar problems wih your RCW50EGs, please contact us immediately so that we can help you to solve the problems asap. There are solutions that can be implemented quickly, and B Medical Systems will fully support those activities.
In such a case please contact me directly through : firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure to report as much details on the problem as you can. If the issue is on electrical operation, please give as much as possible details on the voltage level.
PS : we have not heard of any issues with the kerosene version as on these the heat can be adjusted through the flame setting. If anyways you would know about issues on those, please let us know as well.
Thanks for letting know and forwarding this message to any of your colleagues or network that may need to get this information.
Gilles for the B Medical Systems Team