Potato Store

Farmers – Is your refrigeration store big enough?

Now I’m not talking about the size of the store itself before anyone goes and starts asking how the hell I could possibly know what size of store you have. No, I am talking about the rating of your refrigeration unit for your store.

You see I have designed refrigerated stores for all sorts of applications, from the storage of soft fruits and flowers to the bulk storage of potatoes.  The reason I ask about whether or not you have the right rating in respect to your store is that refrigeration designs in the past, and today, were and are based on ISO conditions. As the world is getting hotter it makes me wonder whether or not older store are able to deliver the refrigeration levels required given the change to the original design criteria.
I am not suggesting you panic and go and order a new refrigeration store, designer in the past (myself included) will have allowed for 10% to 20% over sizing of the refrigerator itself (in order to be sure of meeting cooling loads), so there shouldn’t be an immediate worry about store failure.  However, as things continue to heat up, as it were, then I would suggest that is worthwhile having a consultation with your equipment supplier just to make sure you don’t need to change anything, especially if your equipment is over 10 years old.  Having your equipment supplier do a sanity check on the rating of your plant, given rising external ambient temperatures, will give you peace of mind that your stored crop is going to be ok regardless of increasing ambient temperatures.
If you do have to up the rating, I would suggest you do this via a supplementary system rather than replacing what you have.  You can consider either installing another refrigerator else where on the farm (smaller self contained unit) or adding an addition refrigerator unit into the existing store to give it a cooling boost (as it were).  Either way there is a solution to any under performing plant.
The impact of climate change is not something that just affects the comfort of people but also crops and animals.  Doing your checks now may save you a lot of money through lost crop loss in the not to distant future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

20 − 20 =