Onion storage at the Agro-Malz farm

When growing onions, one must take into account the inevitable margin of waste that occurs during its storage. Investing in a storage system helps reduce the percentage. losses suffered.

You can find a description of the Agro-Malz farm in our previous article:

The main factor in storing onions is the correct air temperature. The whole structure for this is based on the operation of sensors and fans. The computer monitors their activity, adjusting the temperature to the needs of the prism.

Temperature sensors, in the form of needles about a meter high, evenly nailed into the prism, are responsible for the whole process of temperature adjustment for the correct storage of vegetables and their species. They send the command to the computer to turn on the system.

Ventilation openings installed in exterior walls are controlled as needed, based on current temperature measurements.
Ventilation openings installed in exterior walls are controlled as needed, based on current temperature measurements.

Construction of a vegetable store

On the ground floor there is what is called a pressure chamber and ventilation ducts through which air is forced into the pile.

Air is forced into the stack through ventilation channels built into the pressure chamber.  AK
Air is forced into the stack through ventilation channels built into the pressure chamber. AK

Circulation is possible thanks to the operation of fans located in the floor of the first floor.

Depending on the temperature to be obtained, the air is taken from outside and mixed with the hot air from the warehouse.

On the third floor there are escape hatches for the evacuation of air escaping from the stack. This “used” air is evacuated by the fans. Thanks to this, air filtration is preserved.

Depending on the temperature of the prism, the computer controls the opening percentage of the fan flaps.

Depending on the temperature of the prism, the computer controls the opening percentage of the fan flaps.  Home Army photo
Depending on the temperature of the prism, the computer controls the opening percentage of the fan flaps. Home Army photo

Additionally, when there is too much carbon dioxide in the chamber, a small dedicated fan is turned on, which extracts a large amount of it outside. Thanks to this, it is not necessary to operate large fans, which saves a lot of energy (the fan has a power of 3 kW)

Circulation is possible thanks to the operation of fans located in the floor of the first floor.  Home Army photo
Circulation is possible thanks to the operation of fans located in the floor of the first floor. Home Army photo

In the case of onions, no cooling aggregate is necessary, as in the case of parsley or carrots. When the outside temperature is low enough, the fans suck in cold air (mainly at night), unless there are negative temperatures – then the sensor blocks the flow. The air should not be too cold so as not to freeze the top layer of the onion.

The third floor also serves as the so-called Gallery.  From this height, you can visually assess the condition of the prism.  Home Army photo
The third floor also serves as the so-called Gallery. From this height, you can visually assess the condition of the prism. Home Army photo

– The installation of a storage structure is possible even in buildings of the old type. Farmers are increasingly adopting those that already exist on their farms, such as traditional barns. Preparing the space allows the installation of the entire system so that the potato or onion enjoys ventilation conditions, explains Mr. Krzysztof Pisarek, the contractor of the workshop storage room carpentry and carpentry.

Want to expand your farm? Check how to do it!

The active operation of the storage room, with the dimensions of a 25 m pressure chamber with 8 fans and a 4 kW motor, consumes around 30 kW/h.

This can change depending on the height of the prism and the temperature. Usually the pile is 4-5m long, beyond this height the fans need to run longer so the air has a chance to properly ventilate the material.

On Mr. Piotr’s farm, the storage work is supported by the energy of the photovoltaic panels.

Depending on the size of the room and the season, it takes about a month to build the whole system

The type of storage is chosen according to the form of storage: in stacks or in pallet boxes.  Home Army photo
The type of storage is chosen according to the form of storage: in stacks or in pallet boxes. Home Army photo

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