One of the burning issues in the world is the problem of food. There are more than 7.3 billion people on the planet and this number is constantly increasing, which requires more and more food. A lot of vegetables and fruits are spoiled and thrown into landfills in some regions, worsening ecological conditions. These products could benefit under appropriate storage conditions. The cultivation and storing of fruit and vegetables is difficult in other regions because of their inaccessibility and the cost of imported products is very high. How can we solve these problems at low cost?
The proposed solution is a terrestrial autonomous agricultural transformer that generates energy from the sun at the required temperature using solar panels and refrigeration or heating appliances.
Tasks and properties of the transformer:
1) Captures solar energy. Designing of the transformer goes on an “East-West” axis, the Sun's rays are detected by the solar panels which have covered the storage from the South side. The angle of the panels should provide maximum solar radiation, so the angle of the panels at the bottom of the wall is at least 50 for power generation in the early morning and evening, and at the top of the wall is at least 25 for power generation in the middle of the day (measured from the horizontal plane).
2) Generates this energy into electrical energy with subsequent conversion to the desired temperature. For the generation are used solar cells, PWM controllers, batteries, inverter and converter – refrigeration system (storage) or heaters and lamps (hot house).
3) Keeps temperature within the walls of the transformer during the day and night due to the construction of double wall and thermally nonconductive material of walls (insulated brick, straw blocks, sandwich panels). Floor insulation is required.
It is estimated that the cost of the transformer volume of 80 m3 will be about $15,000. Currently there are products on the market that convert solar energy only in the cold. These are refurbished and insulated sea containers with a volume from 30 m3 to 50 m3 and cost from $16,000 to $50,000. Cost of 1 m3 of such repositories starts from $425. At the proposed transformer ~ $ 180 + this one has a heating function.
It is expected that the construction by blocks will be manufactured in a factory and transported to the place of erection where it will be assembled by builders. All the generating system will be selected individually for each region and will be purchased from reliable suppliers.
Regions to build the transformer is an area with solar insolation at least 1000 kWh/m2. Predominantly regions with weak electrification and fertile soils – Asia, Africa, Oceania, Latin America.
Transformer will help reduce the amount of discarded vegetables and fruit (in some countries it reaches 35%) that will improve the environment and reduce the cost of production. And at the expense of growing in the field, cost will decrease in regions with risky agriculture zones.