Batac awardResearchers at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Batac, Ilocos Norte won awards during the 3rd Industry and Energy Research and Development Symposium and Competition held at Don Mariano Marcos State University – North La Union Campus, Sept. 29-30.

Engr. Lex Taguda’s team won the best paper award under the professional category for their study titled Carbonized rice hull (CRH)-insulated Silo: A solution to rice seed storage losses.

The team developed a 1-ton capacity rice silo insulated with CRH to reduce storage losses, and maintain the viability of rice seeds for a longer period.

“We used CRH for its wide availability, low thermal conductivity, high moisture retention, and pathogen-free capability,” Taguda said.

Their study found the CRH-insulated silo can maintain acceptable moisture content and germination rate of rice seeds for 10 months and seed vigor for 7 months in outdoor conditions. An average of 186 weevils and 1.47% damaged seeds were recorded, both of which were within the tolerable level for seed viability. The technology also allows easy loading and unloading of rice seeds.

The poster titled Harnessing wind and solar energy for crop irrigation in Ilocos Region featured the newly-developed hybrid wind solar pump system that can be used to irrigate rice and rice-based crops.

In constructing the system, the research team used existing technologies in the market including the 600-watt capacity wind turbine and 300-watt capacity solar panel to charge a common 600 ampere-hour battery and inverter to drive an electric water pump.

“This technology aims to harness wind and solar energy to pump water for annual crops, and produce an environment-friendly source of renewable energy that can help mitigate the effects of climate change,” main author Engr. Moises Galera said.

The symposium cum competition themed Industry and energy innovations: Transforming the region into a robust economy is an annual event featuring forum and exhibits of funded technologies generated by the member-agencies of the Ilocos Consortium for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute