Re-Imagining the Cooling Systems for Markets in Developing Countries: A Conceptual Analysis of a Footstep Powered Cooler

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Published: 2023-08-02

DOI: 10.56557/jafsat/2023/v10i38329

Page: 43-51


Ismael Kilinya Mayanja *

Badaye Technologies Limited, P.O. Box 4932, Kampala, Uganda and Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.

Laudia Anokye-Bempah

Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.

Musdalifa Parwoth

Badaye Technologies Limited, P.O. Box 4932, Kampala, Uganda.

Joshua Dhikusooka

Badaye Technologies Limited, P.O. Box 4932, Kampala, Uganda.

Isaac Oluk

Badaye Technologies Limited, P.O. Box 4932, Kampala, Uganda and Department of Civil Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0281, USA.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Preserving perishable food items like fruits and vegetables in local markets of developing countries is a significant challenge due to the lack of affordable and sustainable cooling solutions, resulting in high food loss, economic burden, and environmental waste. This paper presents a conceptual analysis of a footstep-powered cooler (FPC) system that harnesses the energy generated from footstep movement to power refrigeration systems. The study developed a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) consisting of a piezoelectric plate connected to a voltage doubler circuit to measure the energy generated per step. Results showed that a single footstep on a 0.15 x 0.15 m tile with four piezoelectric plates connected in series generated 0.8 J of energy. However, when extrapolated to the scale of a market, the energy generated from footsteps fell significantly short of the energy requirements for refrigeration. The study suggests optimizing tile placement, exploring other piezoelectric materials, and improving energy extraction efficiency through circuit modifications as potential strategies to enhance energy output to meet the required energy demands. While footstep-generated energy alone may not be sufficient, it represents a promising and sustainable approach to preserving perishable food in local markets, reducing food loss, and improving overall efficiency in the food supply chain.

Keywords: Refrigeration, green energy, post-harvest, food preservation


How to Cite

Mayanja , I. K., Anokye-Bempah , L., Parwoth , M., Dhikusooka , J., & Oluk , I. (2023). Re-Imagining the Cooling Systems for Markets in Developing Countries: A Conceptual Analysis of a Footstep Powered Cooler. Journal of Advances in Food Science & Technology, 10(3), 43–51. https://doi.org/10.56557/jafsat/2023/v10i38329

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