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R401 Reducing the Energy Cost of Potato Storage

Publication Date: 
24 August 2011
Author/Contact :
Adrian Cunnington

Contractor :
FEC Services Ltd & SBCSR

Full Research Project Title: Reducing the energy cost of potato storage: benchmarking the performance of commercial stores to stimulate the adoption of best practice techniques and good housekeeping practice.
Duration: October 2007 - September 2010

Aim: To increase awareness of energy costs and identify options for energy savings.

Industry Challenge

It is estimated that the total cost of energy used in potato storage is £26M.


FEC Services, SBCSR


Eight sites were chosen to be part of the first project year (2007/08); these were four processing stores and four pre-pack stores of varying ages and conditions. A further twenty eight stores were selected to be part of the second year (2008/09) and, the third and final year (2009/10) of the project.

Key Findings

The project has illustrated the benefit of simple storage energy monitoring and that, by using inexpensive electricity meters and temperature data from store control equipment or a retrofit monitor, comparative data on electricity consumption can be accurately recorded and compared The 38 stores monitored for this project provided a representative cross section of British store stock and the monitored energy results from these showed that there is as much as a three-fold difference in energy consumption between the highest and the lowest users. With such large variations, there is clearly a need for more focused work on the measures that can be taken to reduce consumption and therefore running costs. Further information on energy use in potato production can be found on the AHDB Potatoes Energy Hub.

Reports and Key Words

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