A thermodynamically influenced control for potato storage

  • C.K.W. Ndiema


One of the major tasks in potato production is the maintenance of storage conditions to ensure minimum post-harvest losses. This should be accomplished at minimum energy costs. In rural stores that are inaccessible to electricity supply, this is entirely achieved by using free movement of outdoor air. However, in major commercial potato stores, circulation of air requires the use of a fan. This paper presents a comparison of the performance of the conventional and modified controllers in reducing mass loss in the bulk and fan energy input. A test stand was constructed for controlled ventilation of a sample of potato bulk under the given ambient conditions. The results obtained show that the modified control achieved reduced mass loss by about 5% while the fan energy input was reduced by up to 10%. It is therefore possible to achieve improved control of the potato storage condition by modifying the controls to operate on the basis of thermodynamic state diagrams.

(Botswana Journal of Technology: 2002 11(2): 63-65)

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eISSN: 1019-1593