Development of an Improved Vapour Compression Refrigeration System for Preservation of fresh Vegetables

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T. S. Mogaji

Abstract

An improved vapour compression refrigeration system (VCRS) was developed for the preservation of fresh vegetables and its performance was evaluated. The cooling system operating with R134a as working fluid consists of an evaporator, compressor, condenser, capillary tube and a redesigned temperature control device (TCD). The refrigeration system has capacity to accommodate 0.02 metric tonnes (20 kg) of any fresh vegetables. The improved cooling system was used to preserve fresh vegetables such as: bitter leaf (Vernonia  amygdalina Delile) and pumpkin leaf (Telfairia occidentalis). Study was conducted to check the freshness of the vegetables and data were observed daily. Results of the transient performance tests revealed that an average cabinet and ambient temperature of 3.64C and 26.89C were observed, and an average cabinet and ambient relative humidity of 94.50% and 45.23% were recorded respectively for the preserved vegetables. The needed optimum storage temperature range for the preservation of the selected vegetables samples were attained in cooling system at 2C – 4C with the aids of the incorporated newly designed TDC. The improved domestic vapour compression refrigeration system performed up to expectation as the shelf life of the tested sample inside the cooling system was extended by fourteen days relative to ambient storage.

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