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INVENTIONS don’t come much more Australian than a machine designed to rapidly chill large quantities of beer in remote locations.

Enter the Can Van, one of the more unusual subjects put through VASA director Mark Mitchell’s SuperTest facility in Queensland.

The brainchild of Gold Coast publican Peter Thompson, Can Van is designed to keep up with heavy demand for ice-cold drinks at large outdoor events such as the Birdsville Races, where hot summer temperatures keep people thirsty.

Capable of holding 3000 cans of beer, the self-contained prototype Can Van put through its paces in the SuperTest environmental booth sprays hot cans with ice-cold water as they travel along tracks, chilling them to 1.5 degrees.

Starting from scratch on a hot day, the first full load of beer takes about two and a half hours to reach 1.5 degrees but after that, it will cool cans as fast as they are sold, with hot cans loaded at one end and cold cans dispensed from the other to provide customers with a constant supply of chilled beer.

Mr Thompson’s experience as a supplier to outside functions led him to devise the Can Van as a way of reducing the logistics and labour aspects of using truckloads of ice and cool rooms.

With some design tweaks that came about from its SuperTest session, the Can Van is ready to hit the road.

‘It has to be a no-brainer for hire companies that have to deal with the logistics of mass refreshment supply at outdoor venues,’ said Mr Thompson, who is already fielding rental and sales enquiries for his invention.

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