How does the Frostbuster work? PDF Print E-mail

The Frostbuster is a trailed machine. The powerful fan is driven by the PTO of the tractor. In the air inlet of the fan, there is a gas burner that heats the air up to 80° Celsius. At the back of the machine are the containers for the gas bottles.

The heated air is blown between the trees through 2 outlets (1 at the left and 1 at the right). Because the air flow is so powerful, we cover a distance up to 40 to 50 meters at each side of the machine. Therefore, it's only necessary to drive through the rows every 60 to 90 meters. We will calculate for you the ideal circuit which is different for almost every orchard. However, it is very important to pass at the same spot within 10 minutes. The total surface that can be protected depends on the shape and the dimensions of the plot.

The working principle is, unlike all other frost protection systems, not based on raising the temperature above the critical values but on phase transition. Or in this case by controlling the forming of hoarfrost. Where our machines are used, we notice a significantly lower formation of hoarfrost. We all know that hoarfrost is the biggest enemy for the flowers and buds. But there is a way to use the enemy for protection.

The transformation of vapour into hoarfrost is called desublimation or deposition and liberates a lot of energy. This energy is transferred to its surroundings, in this case the surrounding air but above all into the leaves and flowers themselves. We know that it’s precisely the hoarfrost that normally causes most damages. This is because the ice crystals extract energy and humidity from the flower. Without protection, the layer of hoarfrost will increase and finally cause damages by dehydration and under-cooling.

But not with our system. Because we pass with a hot air stream, every 7 to 10 minutes, part of the ice evaporates (called sublimation) and the remaining ice gets energy from the passing air. The higher the humidity, the more energy that is transferred. After a few minutes, the air cools down again, the relative humidity increases and some new rime will be formed. This liberates again energy and gives again energy to the flowers. This allows us to create an optimal protection with only a fraction of the energy input that is needed by other systems.