October 16, 2017
If you are fond of exotic food. Then, you ought to be thankful for the cold storage units in the country. The particular food that is not grown in your city. Or the one that is not found in your area. A cold storage serves as the best means to keep a reserve of it.
That includes off-season fruits and vegetables. Seafood. As well as imported food. Any food that is bound to get perished quick requires a cold storage unit.
What includes the cost of cold storage in India, Have you ever thought what goes on with these cold storage units?
After the labor employed at a cold storage processing unit. Electricity is the second biggest operational component of cold storage investment cost.
As power is essential to create a freezing environment. A business of cold storage has a heavy dependence on power. That means irrespective of the season, month or any time of the year. A cold storage facility always has its power switched on. With the ever increasing costs of utilities. There is no way that the cost of cold storage in India could come down.
Also, the more their business increases. The more their operational costs.
As the operational costs of running a cold storage keeps on surging. It could have a direct impact on the food that we eat.
Why the cost of operating a cold storage unit keeps increasing?
The food spoils because of the infestation from bacteria and other micro-organisms. The activity of these organisms speeds up with the increase in temperature.
To keep the temperature low. Cold storage units have refrigeration units. Due to the nature of business. Refrigeration process continues day in and out.
This calls for the continuous supply of power. To fulfill the power needs. Storage unit owners ensure back of power with diesel generators.
These generators add a huge cost. Not to mention the pollution and inconvenience that they add along.
Because of this. Generators become a bottleneck for the storage unit owners.
Though the storage units can fight back by increasing their selling prices. But beyond a certain limit. That price cannot stretch further.
Moreover, the prices of electricity are always on a rise. Also, with the increase in prices of crude. The diesel also costs a lot. Thus, the storage owners operate on a huge operational cost. Managing that is a big issue.
What could be a solution to bring down the cost of cold storage in India?
The solution to tackle this menace lies in going Solar. Sun is a source of power. With the PV panels. The rays of the Sun turn to power. This power is then transferred to the local grid.
The local grid further pays back to the individual solar power generator. The payment happens with credits in their power bills. This is how the cold storage business stands a chance to get some monetary relief.
The credits in the utility bill are proportional to the amount of power generated. The more the power solar panel system creates. The more credits for the storage unit.
The factors that affect the power production are:
- The size of the solar panels
The more the panels spread on the premises of the storage unit. The more is the potential to generate power.
- The design of the rooftop solar system
The amount of power generated is a function of quantity as well as quality. That means how one sets the system affects the power generation. The panels, when laid at particular angles, produce the maximum power. This is a function determined through analysis of the location.
- Nearby surroundings of the solar panel system
The solar panel system performs when direct sunlight falls on its surface. In the event of a distraction between the two. The power generation process takes a set back. Thus, avoiding any element between the solar panels and Sun helps the output.
So, to get the best advantage. If a cold storage unit keeps a check on all these factors. Then, they can save a lot on their recurring costs. Also, there are certain subsidies provided by the government. These subsidies are in particular for the cold storage units.
The policies in these subsidies make the deployment of solar rooftops cheaper. Thereby, bringing down the setup cost of cold storage in India. This, in turn, creates a chance to make cold storage business profitable.
Cold storages are of immense importance. They are essential to store food products that are not grown in the local environment. Consider them a warehouse for vegetables and meat stock that tend to perish quickly. Thus, to enhance the shelf life of food. Cold storage units maintain a freezing environment. This they achieve through placing food around and in-between bricks and bars of ice.
To prepare ice in a massive quantity. Quick refrigeration is the need of the hour. This calls for high-end freezing equipment. These gadgets form the capital costs of a cold storage unit. Moreover, to prevent the ice from melting. A further requirement is to keep the refrigeration process up and running. That calls for huge operational costs of electricity as well.
The location of cold storage units is off the cities most of the time. Because of that the constant power supply is not always guaranteed.
Thus, to maintain their operations. The cold storage centers keep a backup of electricity supply. The popular option for energy backup is diesel generators. These generators run on fossil fuels. These fuels not just cost a lot. But also add damages to nature. Thus, expensive for the cold storage units. Also, harmful for everyone in general. But without these generators. The food does not stand a chance to remain fit for consumption.
The solar panels occupy space on the rooftop of storage units. Thus, they do not occupy any extra space. They are a clutter free means to bring down the operational costs of storage units.
Moreover, in the recent times. The government has introduced subsidies for the cold storage businesses. These subsidies help them to acquire solar powered rooftop systems at reduced costs. Hence, solar serves as a perfect solution to bring down exorbitant cost of cold storage in India.