Crop Systems Limited launches SmartSola, enabling optimal use of home-generated energy in your potato store

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Crop Systems Limited launches SmartSola for optimal using of home-generated energy

oktober 19, 2023
Crop Systems Limited’s 'SmartSola' system is an innovation launched at exactly the right time. The system enables users to make optimal use of their use of home-generated energy, while minimising their use of bought-in power, reducing their exposure to high energy costs.

'SmartSola' monitors the energy generated from all sources – solar power, hydro, wind or biomass – and then deploy it to optimum benefit across up to 10 stores.

The system monitors and manages all aspects of the store’s energy use, something appreciated by Philip Smith, owner of Monkton Court Farm, near Ramsgate, Kent. He installed 'SmartSola' across the 3,500 tonne stores built by Crop Systems Limited.

These have performed excellently over the past five years, enabling him to keep potatoes in 'just harvested' condition, while achieving low running costs thanks to innovative equipment such as glycol fridges. That performance is being further improved by 'SmartSola'.
 
SmartSola in the process

SmartSola in the process

Philip Smith:
 
"We use around n 300,000 kWh of electricity every year across our four stores. With energy costs having risen so much, we need to ensure we make best use of home-produced solar energy as possible. SmartSola has helped us achieve this aim by intelligently controlling our store run times. Stores are switched on in sequence as the solar energy becomes available."

"On many days our stores run entirely on the energy generated by our own solar panels, which avoids the cost of imported energy completely. We normally store crops at 2.7 °C with a 0.2 °C differential. So when the solar panels are producing enough power in the day we take the opportunity to over-cool to 2.5 °C."

"Then if the next day is dull and the panels cannot produce enough power we can avoid using mains electricity because the energy we need to run the store is effectively stored in the potatoes."

"The programme offers a great deal of flexibility, allowing the store manager to prioritise stores or set different parameters for each store. It has worked extremely well for us and has become an important tool in our store management."