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Закрити книгу / close this bookEnvironmentally Sound Technologies for Women in Agriculture (IIRR; 1996; 213 pages)
Перегляд документу / View the documentAcknowledgements
Перегляд документу / View the documentPreface
Вiдкрити папку i переглянути змiст / Open this folder and view contentsAnimal husbandry and dairying
Закрити папку / close this folderVegetables and post-harvest technologies
Перегляд документу / View the documentNutrition garden
Перегляд документу / View the documentPreserving nutrients
Перегляд документу / View the documentPreservation by fermentation
Перегляд документу / View the documentZero-energy cool chamber
Перегляд документу / View the documentBamboo iceless refrigerator
Вiдкрити папку i переглянути змiст / Open this folder and view contentsOrganic farming
Вiдкрити папку i переглянути змiст / Open this folder and view contentsSeed production and storage
Вiдкрити папку i переглянути змiст / Open this folder and view contentsPests and pesticides
Вiдкрити папку i переглянути змiст / Open this folder and view contentsDrudgery reduction
Вiдкрити папку i переглянути змiст / Open this folder and view contentsWater management for farm and home
Вiдкрити папку i переглянути змiст / Open this folder and view contentsFish production
Вiдкрити папку i переглянути змiст / Open this folder and view contentsAppendices
 

Zero-energy cool chamber

Spoilage of fresh fruits and vegetables is a serious problem in tropical countries. Cool storage can prolong the life of fresh produce, but refrigeration equipment is expensive to buy, expensive to run, and expensive to maintain. There is, however, a practical, low-cost alternative for on-farm fruit and vegetable storage which employs the cooling power of evaporation. Zero energy cool chambers stay 10- 15° C cooler than the outside temperature and maintain about 90 percent relative humidity. And they are easy to build out of locally available materials, such as brick, sand, bamboo, straw, and gunny bags.

Living and breathing

Fresh fruits and vegetables are alive. They breath and ripen even after harvest. Cool temperatures stew this process, allowing you to keep your fresh produce longer and avoid spoilage.

Construction

1 Select a raised site close to a source of water.

2 Make a floor with bricks.


Make a floor with bricks.

3 Erect a double wall 70 cm high, leaving a cavity 7.5 cm wide between the two walls.


Erect a double wall 70 cm high, leaving a cavity 7.5 cm wide between the two walls.

4 Drench the chamber with water.


Drench the chamber with water.

5 Soak fine, river-bed sand with water.

6 Fill the cavity between the double wall with this wet sand.


Fill the cavity between the double wall with this wet sand.

7 Make a cover frame of bamboo, sirki, straw, or dry grass.


Make a cover frame of bamboo

8 Build a thatched-roof shed over the chamber to shield the chamber from direct sun and rain.


Build a thatched-roof shed over the chamber to shield the chamber from direct sun and rain.

Operation

- Keep the sand, bricks, and top cover of the chamber wet.

- Water twice daily, in the morning and evening. A drip system can be built with plastic pipes, microtubes connected to an overhead water source.

- Store your fruits and vegetables in perforated plastic crates. Do not use bamboo, wood, or fibreboard boxes because these will be damaged by moisture.


Water twice daily.


Watering with drip system


Cover these crates with a thin polyethylene sheet.


Rebuild the chamber with new bricks after 3 years. (The bricks' pores become blocked over time and this reduces the chamber's effectiveness. )

Advantages

- Can be constructed by an unskilled person No mechanical or electrical energy is needed.
- Allows small farmers to store produce for a few days and thus avoid costly rush selling.
- Ideal for household storage.
- Reduces losses and thus pays for itself in a short time.
- Useful for temporary storage of curd, milk, and cooked food.
- Can also be used for mushroom cultivation, raising silk - worms, and storage of biofertilisers.

Disadvantages

- Requires a significant capital investment
- Operation relies on a reliable source of water throughout the year.

Shelf life of fruits and vegetables in zero- energy cool chamber

Produce

Time of storage

Outside(days)

Cool chamber(days)

Leafy vegetables

Summer

< 1

3

 

Winter

3

8-10

Other vegetables

Summer

1-2

5-6

 

Winter

4-5

10-12

Potato

Spring/Summer

40

97

Mango

Summer

4

8

Orange

Winter

8-10

50-60

Notes

Build your chamber on a site where breezes blow.
Build on an elevated site to avoid waterlogging.
Use clean, unbroken bricks with good porosity.
Sand should be clean and free of organic matter, clay, etc.
Keep the bricks and sand saturated with water.
Prevent water drops from contacting stored produce.
Keep the chamber clean.
The empty chamber should be treated with an approved fungicide and insecticide.

Caution

Remove all produce before treating the chamber with insecticide or fungicide.

Cost of cool chamber

Bricks (400)

Rs 400

Sand

Rs 50

Bamboo

Rs 30

Other accessories

Rs 120

Outside shed

Rs 400

Total

Rs 1000

Contributor: Dr. S. K. Roy

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