A refrigeration system for vaccine storage and/or transportation includes an inner chassis. One or more vertical lift carriages are positioned in the inner chassis and can house a plurality of vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and/or other perishable items. Each vertical lift carriage is contained in an isothermal chamber. One or more isothermal chambers surround a phase change reservoir (PCR), which is positioned at a central location of the inner chassis and contains frozen water or another phase change material. A thermal attenuation layer can be disposed between the PCR and each isothermal chamber to moderate energy transfer between the chamber and the PCR, thereby controlling the temperature range in each isothermal chamber. Methods for making and using the refrigeration system are also disclosed.
GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS
 This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 awarded by U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.