- Energy Saving
- Heat Pumps
- Electricity Generation
Energy efficiency is not just low-hanging fruit; it is fruit on the ground.Stephen Chu, US Secretary of Energy
Energy efficiency in crop storage - lessons to be learnt
At Farm Energy Centre, a three-year project we've been working on with the Potato Council is just coming to an end and I’m wading through a 100-page plus report which covers all our monitoring and findings on energy efficiency in potato storage.
It’s a tour-de-force, covering insulation, air leakage, air handling, refrigeration, humidification ...
Albeit a study on potato storage, it has just as much relevance to those storing fruit and vegetables in horticultural businesses.
The main conclusion drawn from the report is that potato farmers could do a lot better on energy efficiency. Not to say that some aren’t getting there, but attention focused on the simple things — insulation thickness, sealing of buildings and looking after the refrigeration kit — can make a big, big difference.
Attention to detail on the simple stuff is key. We found, for instance, that air leakage on a pre-pack store contributed to 37% of the requirement for cooling. Improving the store with some over-the-top sealing brought that down to just 4%. This is worth about £1,500 per year for 500 tonne storage.