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Energy Globe Award

With more than 187 participating countries and over 2000 project submissions annually the Energy Globe Award is today's most prestigious environmental prize worldwide. It distinguishes projects regionally, nationally and globally that conserve resources such as energy or utilize renewable or emission-free sources. Award ceremonies are held all over the world. Prominent personalities as well as Energy Globe Ambassadors in 90 countries support the mission of Energy Globe. The activities of Energy Globe attract worldwide media attention - international TV stations report each year with approximately 1,000 hours of broadcasting time. The aim of the Energy Globe is to raise global attention on sustainable, everywhere applicable environmental solutions and to motivate people to also become active in this area.

National ENERGY GLOBE Award Costa Rica 2019

Submitted by: Technology Institute of Costa Rica
Use of solar energy in the drying process of agricultural products

The objective of this project was to validate and promote the use of clean technologies through the use of solar systems among the cocoa farmers from the Northern Huetar region of Costa Rica for the improvement of their energy efficiency, savings and product safety.

Initial situation
The use of solar energy through the solar thermal system to heat the air for the drying process of different agricultural products, such as grains, seeds, and fruits allows achieving a final product of greater quality and safety in comparison to traditional methods of drying. In Costa Rica, where the project has been carried out, traditional drying was based on direct exposure to the sun and almost 50% of the production is lost, due to the putrefaction by the excessive humidity or infestation by fungi, bacteria, and insects.

Solution
This project arouses from the concern of the farmers from the Northern Huetar region of Costa Rica, who attended a lecture on the use of solar energy by the researchers of the San Carlos Technology Local Campus, Technology Institute of Costa Rica. In this lecture, the researchers showed the farmers the results obtained with the implementation of the thermal solar systems in different milk processing factories in the Northern Huetar region.

Innovation
The solar installations have a simple use and installation, and also the maintenance of the equipment is easy. For the drying process of grains, we use solar hybrid forced air heating systems composed by a solar room with tempered glass and with temperature and humidity control, which is the first component of the solar thermal system of air heating. In addition, the system is equipped with radiators where hot water (also heated by the sun) flows to warm the drying chamber until the temperature required.




Capital: San José
Official language: Spanish
Total area: 51.100 kmĀ²
Population: 4.301.712
GDP/Capita/Year: $7.843
Source: Wikipedia 2012