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Suction walls have gained popularity in recent years to greatly improve the air distribution in 'Free Blow' Box Potato Stores. By matching the openings in the suction wall to the air volume used the overall air pattern can be much more evenly distributed.
Usually constructed in timber the suction wall is positioned at the same end of the store as the air handling units and/or refrigeration coil. The Exhaust louvres (on ambient equipped stores) are positioned behind (inside) the suction wall thereby guaranteeing the air path during ambient cooling as well.
The above image depicts the air flow through the store which is fitted with a suction wall, it can be seen most of the air flows through the middle of the potatoes ensuring each potato receives air. In this case with the application of CIPC it is ensured an even distribution of sprout suppression through the potatoes.
The images below give a section view of the airflow throughout the store. The first image depicts the boxes furthest away from the suction wall, where as the last image is of the boxes closest to the suction wall.
It can be seen that the further away from the suction wall the more air is forced through the potatoes. This outcome is logical, due to the fact the outermost boxes are in direct contact with the ambient air. The further into the stack, the air is drawn into the pallet of the box. Therefore, the difference in air velocity between the boxes within the stack can be seen
The suction wall gives a significant improvement in air velocity through potatoes. Compared to a standard mixed air unit it ensures the air moves through the potatoes instead of around the boxes.
Addition of a suction wall to a mixed air unit makes it suitable for forced drying and the application of CIPC.