Commercial Food Market

1855 words | 6 page(s)

Despite its importance, energy use in the production of commercial food remains to be largely unattended thus leaving much room for improvement. The production of commercial food focuses solely on the production of food that is salable and that which can translate to profit for all the parties involved in the process. From its production to its sale at a restaurant, the process of commercial food marketing involves several players. This therefore means for the final seller to sell at an affordable price yet make profit from the sale there has to be efficiency at all levels and in particular at the production stage. The reason for the choice of this project is due to the lack of efficiency in production of commercial food especially in terms of energy usage. The lack of efficiency in production is not a new problem. The lack of a solution however may be attributed to the lack of goodwill by the players involved. It is also important to mention that the commercial food market demands quality products and thus efficiency will not only ensure cheaper costs but also quality produce. Over the years solar energy has been used in many areas which have resulted to its rise in popularity. However, the use of solar energy in the production of commercial food is yet to be fully maximized. This paper looks at the relationship and role of solar energy in the commercial food market.

List of Equipment
Energy costs at production level of major commercial crops remains high. However this can change through the use of energy efficient equipment. Improvements in conversation and efficiency can be experienced through several practices including the use of the right tractors that can minimize consumption of fuel as well as ensuring reduction in tillage depth. Tillage activities take up a lot of energy and thus minimizing tillage operations can substantially help ensure energy efficiency. A heavy reliance on electricity (fossil fuel) can also be reduced by adopting solar panels especially on the dairy side of production that heavily relies on electricity. Additionally, we should do away with machinery that uses gasoline [1]. While diesel fuel and engines are not the best option they remain to be better than gasoline driven equipment. A large portion of energy consumption and energy efficiency depends on the type of equipment we use. It is therefore important to choose the right equipment and to use it for the right purpose.

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For commercial food market to thrive there is need to operate within the right environment. At the production level, the environment needs to be naturally good. In the vent that this is not the case, certain measure need to be taken to ensure all is well. To start with, there needs to be sufficient water to support food production. This water can come in the form of rain. With technology however, it is possible and much easier to trap rainwater and use it for farm purposes later on. This brings us to the next point of irrigation. With enough financial and technological support, it is possible and economically viable to trap rain water and use it for farming purposes. This leads us to our next point on irrigation where in the event that the environment lacks sufficient natural water supply to support large scale commercial food production we can then revert to irrigation. Over the years, irrigation has proven to be a viable alternative for large scale commercial food production.

As earlier mentioned, our project focuses on efficiency in production. A significant amount of energy from the sun reaches the earth every day. Some areas like Nevada are known to receive get enjoy more sun than other parts of the country [2]. However, most parts of the country receive enough sunlight sufficient enough to make solar energy applicable. The need to have solar panels was earlier mentioned. In this case, we will need to ensure that the environment within which our project takes place receives sufficient sunlight. With the help of solar panels and solar energy in general, energy consumption can be cut down significantly. Farm operations in particular can be powered by solar electric panels. Additionally, crops can also be dried using solar heat collectors. In general, solar power will greatly cut energy consumption in the production of commercial food.

Like other markets for other products, the commercial food market involves a lot of risks. These risks however are manageable. Having mentioned the need for solar panels to support our project, it is also evident that these panels come with some risks. To start with, solar panels can be hazardous to our health. This is because most of these panels produce direct current which has to be converted to alternating current for it to be used. This is made possible through the use of an inverter. In the event that the integrated currents are not properly done there is then the risk of electrocution that can result to death in extreme situation. Additionally, solar panels are prone to the risk of destruction in the event of heavy wind. Coupled with the possibility of snow loads, the structures of the house on which the panels are placed are likely to be destroyed if the solar panels were not properly installed.

With our project focused on the production of commercial food for the commercial food market, consistency is thus very important. The choice to entirely rely on solar energy may prove to be a risk in the event that climate change or other physical changes happen. For example, in the event that pumping of water to the farm relies on solar energy then it is paramount that the pumps be provided with enough energy at all times. Therefore in the event that the solar panels are destroyed or the climate affects production of solar energy production may therefore be paralyzed. While solar energy will definitely reduce energy wastage, dependence on solar energy in its entirety should not be advised. Depending with the role solar energy plays in the production and processing process, it is necessary to always have a backup plan that would minimize the risk that comes with the use of solar energy. The installation process however and the connectivity configurations can be done with the help of a professional. This will minimize the risk of injury and destruction of property.

Compared to other forms of non-renewable energy, solar energy is fairly cheap and fairly affordable for a huge majority [1]. This is without the subsidies that non-renewable energy enjoys from the government. With this in mind, the use of solar panels in the production of commercial food makes a lot of economic sense. The price of the solar panels itself costs an estimate 30% of the total costs involved. Our average monthly use of 10,000kw/h is the equivalent of 10,000 kW of electricity every month. This translates to around 13 kW of electricity every hour. With these measurements, it is possible to decide on the right solar panel to use and the number of panels to buy. For example, a 10kW solar panel in California costs around $22,000 to $29,000. Depending on the location, these prices are bound to differ. The number of panels to be bought or used will also depend on its purpose of use.

Given that our project consumes an average 10,000 kw/h every month, the 10kW solar panel would work almost perfectly well for us. On average, the price of a kWh of electricity stands at $0.10.
This means that one would need to pay $1000 every month for 10,000 kW of electricity. This compared to the price of solar panels is way cheaper since the price of electricity paid in two years is enough to buy a 10kW/h solar panel. With this, it is thus economically wise to adopt the use of solar panels in the production of commercial food. This will especially work well for us given the fact the production is in large scale and thus cost reduction is necessary by all means. As earlier mentioned, the use of solar energy will not only guarantee energy saving but also quality produce and cost reduction. These are some important elements that cannot be ignored in the commercial food market.

Connectivity Configurations
Solar panel connectivity and configuration is an important part of using solar panels. However, it is important to first select the right panel and ensure that it will work perfectly for the work it is intended to do so. Additionally, some technicalities will differ pending on the number of solar panels put into use. Assuming that we use only two solar panels we will then need two batteries that are connected in parallel to each other. Batteries of 100Ah and 12V can work well with our project. Well aware of the formula; Power = Voltage × Current, then the wattage supplied should be enough to power the solar panel. Assuming a scenario where only battery is charging, then the values of the battery charging as well as the current charge must be put into consideration. For example 4 solar panels of 60W each would be needed for 240 watts power. The solar panels can be connected in parallel to each other to maximize power. However, in a different scenario where the battery is charging and the DC load is connected then the connectivity grid and the number of solar panels required in general would be different. There is no manual/guide on how solar panels ought to be connected. This is due to the difference in the type of solar panels and the number of solar panels. However, there exist some guiding principles on how they ought to be and not to be placed.

Timeline of Energy
Solar energy is part of the green energy revolution. This is because the process involved in the production of solar energy involves minimal pollution of our environment. Even when compared to other forms of renewable energy, solar energy is perhaps the cleanest forms of energy. To start with, most systems use the placement of solar panels at the roof top. The solar panels then convert the rays from the sun and immediately convert it into electrical energy. This is made possible through the help of photovoltaic cells found on the solar panels [3]. However, as earlier mentioned the electricity produced with the help of photovoltaic cells is direct current. This current has to be converted to alternate current in order for it to be good for use. This is made possible through the help of an inverter. If the inverter is connected to a circuit breaker, then the produced alternating current can be put into use immediately. For the process to be a success there must be enough sunlight and the solar panels must be placed in positions that will maximize the rays from the sun.

  • “Renewable Energy and Agriculture: A Natural Fit”, Union of Concerned Scientists, 2017. [Online]. Available: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/smart-energy-solutions/increase-renewables/renewable-energy-and.html#.WejQw4-CzIV. [Accessed: 19- Oct- 2017].
  • A. Eswara and M. Ramakrishnarao, “Solar energy in food processing—a critical appraisal”, Journal of Food Science and Technology, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 210-225, 2013.

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