At the Mechanical Engineering department office
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Topic: Development Of An Automated Solar-Powered Industrial Cold-Storage System For Preservation And Storage Of Fresh Fruits And Vegetables
Post-harvest loss prevention requires adequate technologies with viable processing and storage facilities. It attracts the enthusiasm for farming beyond subsistence level, gives room for ample food security, enhances trade and distribution, shrinks the price for the consumer, increases the farmers’ income, and alleviates some of the challenges which have impoverished smallholder farmers. Food loss occurs in Nigeria along the value chain due to the absence of efficient ways of handling, storing and preserving harvested farm produce.
Generally, fresh food attracts patronage and is believed to provide the highest nutrients especially legumes, cereals, fruits and vegetables but the availability of such products needs to be guaranteed during off-season. Therefore, refrigeration of food is essential in preservation and storage to ensure all year availability. However, uninterrupted power supply remains a challenge and undoubtedly not feasible in most developing and third world countries. Hence, food preservation and storage remain a constraint.
Alternative power has been sought recently to complement hydro-electricity, choice should be eco-friendly and reduce greenhouse effects of ozone layer. Solar energy has been gaining prominence in the tropics because of long hours and intensity of sunshine. It is an incentive for projecting the refrigeration process to alleviate problems associated with irregular power supply as requirement for fresh food refrigeration on an industrial scale demands uninterrupted supply.
|1.||M.Sc (Mechanical Engineering)||University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos||2002|
Cost Effective Off-grid Solar Power System For Rural Dwellers
Solar energy is massively available, but harnessing and deploying it to serve human energy needs form the major issues. For now, the cost of installing solar power systems is generally not within the reach of rural dwellers. This research is looking into the way-out of this challenge. The research work will employ cost-reduction techniques using automated systems. Since solar energy is only available during the sun hours, automation devices will 'tap' this energy and convert it to power for major house-hold equipment like refrigerator and water pump during d sun hours (insolation). During the night, the automation will disconnect the major electrical loads and only minor loads will remain on the power system. This arrangement will employ an inexpensive low-capacity battery for backup during the night. The minor loads will include lights, fans, television and mobile phones. The 'trick' in this work is installing large PVC to harness enough solar energy during the day rather than installing large-capacity batteries, which are very expensive. Satisfactorily, major equipment can work during the sun hours while minor ones work through the night hours.
OLALEYE JOSHUA is a Lecturer II at the Department of Mechanical Engineering
OLALEYE has a M.Sc in Mechanical Engineering from University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos