Development and Testing of a Solar Powered Rice Packaging Machine


  • Okala Nwoke University of Nigeria, Nsukka.



To enhance the marketability of locally produced rice in Nigeria, a machine for cutting and sealing polythene for rice packaging was developed. The machine incorporates a regulator switch which ensures that current flows to the heating element only when the pedal which operates the sealing is matched. This feature reduces the energy requirement of the machine as well as prolongs the life of the heating element. This energy saving feature makes its adaptability to solar photovoltaic (PV) power cheaper than conventional sealing machines where currents flows through the heating element all the period the machine is on. The electrical power requirement of the machine is 84Watts with a nominal voltage and current of 24Volts (dc) and 3.45amps respectively. For poor weather conditions when “peak sun hours” is as low as three hours, it can be powered by two 55Wp connected in series. It can also be powered by 220Volts (ac) source intercepted with a step down current transformer (CT) of 100Volts-Ampere.The tightness of the seal formed on low and high density polythene by the machine was evaluated by sealing water in polythene and checking for weight losses. Rice was subsequently sealed. Results obtained were considered satisfactory for practical applications. The theoretical capacity of the machine is 900bags/hour while its actual capacity depends on the operator of the machine.

Keywords: Polythene, Rice, Solar, Photovoltaic, tightness

Author Biography

Okala Nwoke, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Research Assistant,

National Centre for Energy Research and Development.





IV-Energy in Agriculture