For potato producers, maintaining the quality during storage is essential. The longer you keep the potato fresh, the more room you have to choose the right trading time which means better margins. Intelligent mechanical cooling is an excellent method of potato storage with the longest shelf life and minimal weight loss. At the same time, it provides a solution to the ban on chemical sprouting agent chlorpropham and the social pressure to produce more energy-efficiently.
Intelligent mechanical cooling of EQUANS takes place in a completely closed storage environment. The computer program continuously measures the temperature, humidity and CO2 in the storage unit and adjusts the cooling capacity and the storage program to the cooling demand of the product. This delivers stable storage conditions and offers you complete control of the various stages of the storage process. If the CO2 content exceeds a certain value, the system drains it into the atmosphere.
The outdoor conditions no longer determine your product quality, but rather the storage conditions. The installation control uses intelligent (EC) technique. It automatically adapts to the characteristics of your product and delivers exactly what the product needs. That allows you to dry potatoes without heating them. In addition, every intelligent mechanical cooling solution is tailor-made with the central objective of delivering the best possible quality potatoes.
The stable conditions maintain the quality, size, and weight of your potatoes. They stay as good as fresh until the summer, so you have more time to choose the right time to sell your products at a good price. Do you process your potatoes? Since fewer sugars are formed in the potato, minimum aging occurs. This reduces the need for post-processing, resulting in lower energy consumption and cleaner production.
In addition to potatoes that remain of top quality for longer, you also have a more marketable product. A damaged potato in conventional storage can rot and infect surrounding products. The intelligent mechanical cooling of EQUANS mummifies a damaged potato so that it cannot affect other potatoes. This way, rot nests are as good as out. Due to minimal drying, fewer pressure marks and reduced peeling waste, this way of storage can provide you with up to 30% more marketable products.
The temperature of the storage facility is constant all year round. This significantly minimizes your energy consumption. You can also use the residual heat from the cooling installation for other applications like the heating office spaces, for the potato washer or the washing water. This significantly reduces energy consumption, energy costs and CO2 emissions.
In addition to many others, arable farmer Borgmann also opted for intelligent mechanical cooling for his potatoes. Henk Tebben, a storage specialist at EQUANS: “We have seen at our client Borgmann that outside air-independent cooling results in considerably less drying of the product. Usually about 10%, but with this technology, we achieved less than 3%. This means that the harvest has more weight and higher quality and therefore a higher yield. In addition, Borgmann now produces much more energy-efficiently.”
“We have 30% more marketable product”
Due to the completely closed storage space, environmental factors such as the temperature and humidity of the outside air no longer affect the product quality. The stable storage conditions ensure that much less germination occurs. This allows you to greatly reduce or even eliminate the use of sprout inhibitors. EQUANS' intelligent mechanical cooling is therefore a perfect solution to the ban on the chemical sprout inhibitor chlorpropham. This makes the system particularly interesting for organic potato cultivation. If you still want to use (biological) sprout inhibitors, you can keep them indoors in closed storage and they will not evaporate.
You can also use an intelligent mechanical cooling installation as a supplement to a ventilation system with outside air. In spring particularly, it happens that the air from outside is too warm to keep the temperature of your potatoes low. At that point, you can keep the tubers dormant for a little longer with an intelligent mechanical cooling system. As a result, the quality is better preserved, and you extend the storage season.
Intelligent mechanical cooling is one of EQUANS' storage solutions for agricultural businesses. We offer a solution for short-, medium- and long-term storage for every budget, a solution that meets your needs, your product-specific features, energy capacity and product quality preservation.
Do you also want complete control during all storage phases, but also be able to heat your products during the drying and storage process? Then see whether our condensation drying technology is a solution for you. Do you (also) have other products in your storage? Combined storage is no problem!
The increased cost of this installation compared to a conventional storage system has a payback period of up to 3 years. The solution that best suits your company depends on, for example, the type of product in your storage (only potatoes or, for example, carrots and onions too?), the variety, your business conditions and of course your plans for the future. To know more, feel free to contact us.