Developing energy solutions for horticultural production in Honduras and Thailand

Project Description

Among the most promising disruptive technologies for application to horticulture are those that address the uses of energy in the production, marketing, and processing of horticultural crops. This project tests a range of sustainable energy solutions, and to deploy the most promising at the Horticulture Innovation Lab's Regional Centers.

Technologies considered for testing include:

  • Direct-current split air-conditioner with CoolBot for a solar-powered cool room
  • In-village solar panel construction to reduce the cost of photovoltaic supply
  • Inexpensive photovoltaic pumping based on R.V. water pumps
  • Adsorption refrigeration using zeolite beads
  • High-intensity LED lights for a solar-powered germination cabinet
  • Vacuum-sealed straw bales for building inexpensive insulated rooms
  • Aerogel panels for high-quality insulation
  • Peltier-effect cooling for small-scale transport
  • Low-cost air suspension for small-scale transport
  • Simple solar dryer for fruits, vegetables and grains
  • Facilitated solarization for weed- and soil-borne disease control

As part of a larger capacity-building effort, this project will integrate activities at the Horticulture Innovation Lab Regional Centers in Thailand and Kenya into ongoing work at the UC Davis D-Lab. UC Davis D-Lab faculty mentors and graduate student teams will collaborate with the Regional Centers through a structured approach for performing feasibility studies, technical and market assessments, and design development on innovative horticulture-focused energy technologies. Through this process, the Regional Centers will gain new methods for evaluating and developing horticulture innovations, better enabling them to attract investment and initiate dissemination of these technologies.

Project deliverables:

From the UC Davis D-Lab website:

Project updates:

See also: Horticulture Innovation Lab technology fact sheets

14.010333837263, -87.009918874949

13.847779143153, 100.57236319626

Countries

Honduras Thailand

USAID Objective

Resilience