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Mathematical modelling of the thermal behaviour of stored potatoes & developing of fuzzy control algorithms to optimise the climate in storehouses

, : Mathematical modelling of the thermal behaviour of stored potatoes & developing of fuzzy control algorithms to optimise the climate in storehouses. Acta Horticulturae ( 406): 331-339

To keep the quality of stored potatoes over a long storage time, up to almost about 9 months of a year, needs a good control of the climate within the potato bulk. For a large number of big storehouses, the bulk of potatoes is air-conditioned simply by ventilation with outdoor air, without any additional equipment for cooling or heating (figure 1). Thus, the inside climate is dependent on the mid-European climatic conditions, i.e. on the condition whether the inlet air temperature and humidity are suitable for ventilation. The mathematical modelling allows us to describe the heat and mass transfer processes and to investigate the behaviour of the potato bulk under varying conditions, with the aim of developing a control algorithm to optimize the climate inside the storehouse. To simulate ventilation control algorithms, the mathematical model is included in the closed control loop. The rules, reflecting the appropriate conditions and environmental constraints, are implemented in the control algorithm by using fuzzy-logic methods. The simulation results show that the use of fuzzy logic control algorithms can simplify the implementation of complex storage condition rules and leads forward optimal control to secure high potato quality, to save ventilation energy and costs for storing.

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