Potato Storage Energy Self Assessment
There have been 3 studies of the use of adjustable speed ventilation in potato storage facilities. Each study showed a reduction in the shrinkage loss or water loss of the potatoes. The reduction in shrinkage ranged from 0.4% to 1.7% and is due to the reduction of excess air flow. These numbers may seem small but this can result in many thousands of dollars of increased sales per bin because of the large quantity of potatoes stored per bin.
Another benefit is that lower air velocities increase the time for the air to approach saturated wet bulb temperature when using an evaporative cooling pad. This results in cooler air. During cold weather, condensation can be a problem during periods when the fans are off with constant speed fans. Use adjustable speed fans, which can be operated continuously at a low RPM, greatly reducing or eliminating condensation.
The Potato Storage Self Assessment Tool will estimate the potential energy savings based on the storage period, fan horsepower ratings and number of fans.