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A storage system which only uses lateral ventilation with air-mix units, is the most economical storage system.
By "lateral ventilation", we mean moving air around the (open) storage boxes, not forcing it between the potatoes and onions. This type of ventilation is suitable for potatoes, fruits, tomatoes, etc., but is not suitable for onions. Onions require forced ventilation between the bulbs, because they have a lot of loose skin between them, which prevents homogenous ventilation with a lateral system.
An empty storage facility with air-mix units. In this picture the placement of the ventilation hatches and the air-mix units can been seen clearly.
Please note the spacing between the boxes (bins). This spacing (10 to 15 cm) facilitates homogeneous lateral ventilation.
Boxes with potatoes. Please note that this kind of storage setup is not fit for storing onions. Onions need ventilation that is forced through them.
If the walls cannot support the weight of the air-mix units, they are placed on the ground, but require a kind of chimney to force the air over the produce.
An air-mix unit with its green servomotor that moves the hatches according to the instructions from the Multiserver.
The position of the hatch determines how much internal and external air is mixed. The hatch position is determined by the MULTISERVER, which gets its information from all the temperature and relative humidity sensors, and computes the correct hatch position according to the programme it is running. For instance, a programme for drying onions, or curing potatoes, etc.
The air-mix unit blows this mixed air over the produce (it is very important to maintain a free headspace of at least 1.80 m above the boxes for optimum ventilation). The air is forced down against the front wall of the storage facility and forced back between the boxes to leave through the exit hatch (again, its position is determined by the MULTISERVER), located at about 1.5 metres above the ground. As can been seen in the drawing below, the system can ventilate 100% with outside air or 100% with inside air, or any other ratio determined by the MULTISERVER.
The MULTISERVER is the computer that fully automates the internal climate conditions.
air-mix units come without heating or cooling equipment. If required, these can be installed separately, and connected to the Multiserver.
To see more details regarding the major components of a storage system, like: sensors, the Multiserver (the brain of the system), boxes to be used etc., please go to: Components of a computerised storage facility.
Lateral ventilation with air-mix-units
Please have a look at our Floor Plan Tool for box storage, and optimise your storage dimensions within minutes.
This very simple system uses the outside air temperature, relative humidity, and the temperature differences between day time and night time, to control the indoor climate conditions in a limited way.
For complete climate control, the following equipment should be added: a) heaters, b) coolers and (if necessary) c) a humidification system
Without this extra equipment, this system is only fit for limited storage. However, the system is easily expanded by adding, at a later date, a cooling system, heaters or a humidification system.
To mechanise your post harvest processes:
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Address: Farm San Isidro, Volcán, Panama.