Fruit Battery with Charging Concept for Oil Palm Maturity Sensor

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Dec 31;20(1):226. doi: 10.3390/s20010226.


There are many factors affecting oil extraction rate (OER) but a large contributor to high national OER is by processing good-quality fresh fruit bunches (FFB) at the mills. The current practice for grading oil palm fruit bunches in mills is using human graders for visual inspection, which can lead to repeated mistakes, inconsistent evaluation results, and many other related losses. This study aims to develop a fruit maturity sensor that can detect oil palm fruit maturity grade and send indication to the user whether to accept or reject the bunches. This study focuses on fruit battery principle and applying the charging concept to the fruit battery in order to generate significant load voltage readings of oil palm fruit battery. The charging process resulted in amplified load voltage readings, which were 4 times more sensitive to changes as compared to normal fruit battery without charging process. From the load voltage readings, the fruits can be characterized into their maturity grade based on moisture content. It was determined that fruits with moisture content less than 44% and average load voltage, Vavg, between 20 to 30 mV are considered ripe fruits.

Keywords: fruit battery; fruit maturity; load voltage; moisture content; oil palm; sensor.