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The Basics of a Good Storage Building

In this blog we explore the basic requirements for a good potato storage building.

A good potato store is well-sealed, insulated and ventilated. It allows the crop to be kept under stable conditions, largely unaffected by climatic variation outside. Storage can be in bulk or in boxes, typically around 1-1.3 tonnes capacity.

The closed store maintains a relative humidity of 90–98% which helps to minimise tuber weight loss. With appropriate ventilation, this enables crops to be stored in a dry condition, free from condensation, in changeable weather conditions.

1. Controlled Ventilation

Controlled ventilation is used to remove the heat from crop respiration; it also allows the crop to be dried and cooled. Fans are fitted to stores to provide airflow through the crop (known as positive ventilation) or, less efficiently, to move a rolling mass of air that flows over the boxes and through the pallet slots and extracts heat indirectly (‘space’ ventilation).

2. Insulation

The extent of the insulation ‘envelope’ is a major factor determining how well a potato store performs. Insulation is key in a potato store, much more so than it is for general purpose buildings but is best configured for the intended store condition to strike a balance between cost and benefit.

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