Storing food in refrigerated storage is a costly business and in some cases is a major proportion of the cost of food production. Research undertaken by ADAS at their experimental farm at Gleadthorpe in Nottinghamshire, showed that Superseal brush strip seals could help in reducing these costs.
Energy costs associated with running refrigerated stores can be split into several components, one of which is energy expended to reject heat due to air leakage into and out of the store. Typically, this can account for up to 15% of the total energy cost. Air leakage can occur around doors, vents, and eaves of the store. Tests on seed stores at Gleadthorpe measured the rate of air leakage prior to and after the installation of Superseal brush strip seals.
Test results over a one week period showed that the addition of Superseal brush strip yielded an 83% reduction in air leakage.
Using the ADAS simulation program of a 1000 tonne potato store, energy saving is achieved by a reduction in the running time of the cooling plant in the store.
A natural effect of direct expansion refrigeration equipment, most commonly used potato storage, is moisture extraction from the crop, resulting in weight loss and reduction in crop quality. In the example of the 1000 tonne store, the addition of seals had the effect of reducing the average refrigeration run time by 8%. Based on ADAS moisture balance monitoring of this store, this equates to a reduction in moisture loss from the crop of 3700 litres, equivalent to 3.7 tonnes of crop per year, maintaining crop quality for longer by reducing the risk of compression damage and wilting. ADAS expect that similar benefits to these would be achieved in all forms of refrigerated storage.
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