Cold store

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Agriculture-major industry of indianecessity of cold store

Agriculture is the major industry of India and about 70% of Indian Population is engaged in activities connected to agriculture. The total agricultural output amounts to approx.40% of the National Income.

The country is producing in excess of 60 million tons of fruits and vegetables per annum. Most of the agricultural production is perishable in nature and requires certain levels of temperature and humidity to hold the horticultural production in good condition for longer periods.

Agriculture-major industry of indianecessity of cold stores

due to lack of proper facilities of transportation and storage, about 33% of production, especially fruits and vegetables are wasted i.e. about 20 million tons or 200 lakh tons are wasted.


cold storage infrastructure was built way back in the mid '60s mainly for potatoes and potato seeds and there was no massive investments in cold storage. There is no nationwide provider of cold storage facilities. India has a total 5316 cold storages with a capacity of 23333694 MTs. Private sector cold storages in India account for 4820 with a capacity of 222343607MTs ,cooperative sector 363 numbers with 989445 MTs, Public sector account for133 numbers worth a capacity of100642 MTs.

Cold storage companies

Leading Cold chain companies with established cold chain infrastructure in India are thee state-owned Container Corporation of India (Concor), R.K. Foodland, Refcon Carriers, Indraprastha Cold Chain, Bulaki Deep Freeze, and Glacio Cold Chain.Two majors names in the cold chain industry, Snowman and Kausar, have been bought over.

Hyderabad-headquartered logistics player Gati acquired Kausar India, and transportation & logistics major Gateway Distiparks acquired a controlling stake in Snowman Frozen Foods.

The Future Group, meantime, has integrated backwardfrom food retailing to storage and transportationwith the launch of Future Logistics. XPS Cold Chain, a division of Transport Corporation of India

Container Corporation of India floated Fresh & Healthy Enterprise are also the leading cold chain logistic infrastructure companies

Cold storage

Large Cold Storages

Almost 95 to 98% of these use R-717 (NH3) as refrigerant. Most of these use gravity feed flooded systems or pump-circulation methods. Only very large capacity ones with liquid pump circulation think of screw compressors.

Majority of others go in for open type Reciprocating Kirloskar make KC compressors of single stage or two stage design depending on the evaporating temperatures required.

Kirloskar KC Compressors are used not only in India but also in many other countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Middle East and even in Australia.

Cold storage

The smaller capacity cold storages who use halocarbons as refrigerants mostly use R-22 or in some very few cases, for imported units use HFCs like R-404a.

Commodity wise distribution


Multiple Rooms

Multiple Commodity

Variable Temperature, Humidity Control & Air Circulation

Modified Atmosphere

Pre-cooling Chambers

Fruit Ripening Chambers

Grading, Washing, Packing, Value Additions

Integration with food supply chain


Material Handling & Stacking Pattern

Installing Conveyor Systems or Elevators to transport bags to various floor levels for storage will cut down on valuable loading time and reduce the dependency on manual labor and costs.

Stacking arrangements should be planned and marked out on the floors to optimize storage capacity and at the same insure sufficient passages for air circulation, and easy movement of operation and maintenance staff


Heat Load Calculation to determine total refrigeration load

Transmission Load, heat transferred into the cold room through its walls, floor and ceiling.

Product load, heat removed from the product brought into the cold room for storage and on account of respiration.

Internal Load, Heat produced by Light, Material handling equipment,People in the cold room.

Infiltration Air Load, Heat gains with warm air infiltration into the cold room through doorways and ventilation systems.

Equipment load, consist essentially of fan heat where forced air circulation is used and defrost heat



The primary function of insulation is to restrict the transfer of heat from the warm ambient to the cool environment maintained in the cold stores.

A well designed insulation envelope should at the same time also prevent vapor transmission from the warm humid ambient to the cold store environment. This is achieved by providing suitable vapor barriers and selecting insulation materials with low moisture permeability. If moisture passes into the insulation and makes it wet, the insulating properties are decreased and eventually the insulation envelope fails.

It is a extremely important to apply the recommended thickness of insulation using the correct methodology for maximizing efficiency.


Cold Store Doors

Choosing and installing the right type of cold room doors is vital to improving efficiency and performance in cold stores.

All cold storage doors are required to be durable to frequent operations, suitably insulated and hermetically seal when closed.

Their smooth and quick action ensure less cold air loss, less condensation, less frost build up, less energy consumption and enables stored commodities to be maintained at peak perfection.


Refrigeration System

Condensing Unit



Cooling Coils




The refrigeration condenser is a vital component which rejects the heat into the ambient enabling the cooling process through the refrigeration cycle. They should be cleaned and maintained regularly.

Condensers should be carefully evaluated for the peak load requirements based on the correct ambient conditions and desirable operating parameters


Cooling Coil Selection & Operation Considerations are:

Optimizing Delta T Across The Coil

The difference between return air temperature and the saturated suction temperature of refrigerant is a critical factor determining the size and heat transfer capacity of the cooling coil.

For Low humidity Delta T can be selected between 11C to 17C.

For High Humidity Delta T can be selected between 2.2C to 4.4C.


Maintaining Humidity

Once the field heat is removed and the product temperature reaches the desired holding stage condition, extra humidification can be discontinued provided, the cold store is fitted with a well designed cooling system.

Cold Sores designed with undersized cooling coils however require continuous humidification throughout the storage period.


Air Circulation

Air circulation should be designed to maintain uniform temperature at all places inside the cold stores through out the period of storage.

During the pull down period, there is a need for higher air circulation to remove the field heat - the fan capacity on the cooling coils may not be adequate and additional air circulation fans may be required at suitable locations.

However, once the holding conditions are maintained the air circulation rate can be reduced to the extent of maintaining consistent temperature within 1C.


Maintaining Consistent Temperature & Humidity Conditions

The present necessity of reshuffling - palti - of bags within the cold rooms during the pull down period is mainly on account of poor air circulation. Hence proper design will save high labor costs and damage to produce.


Requirement of Fresh Air & Energy Recovery

For maintaining quality and extending shelf life, sufficient amount of fresh air is required to flush out carbon dioxide to a level below 4000ppm ( in case of potatoes ) throughout the storage period.


Ante Rooms & Air Curtains

Ambient conditions of high humidity and temperature generally always lead to condensation on the surface of the cold produce when it is directly unloaded into the open thereby wetting its surface and affecting its quality and shelf life.

Therefore ante rooms become a necessity where the produce is first unloaded and held for a period of time till the product is warmed above the dew point temperature.

To further minimize energy loss due to infiltration through doors, special devices like air curtains and strip curtains should be utilized.


Product Seed Potato

Storage Temperature 3C (+/-1C)

Plant location: Uttar Pradesh or Punjab

Outside dry-bulb temp: +45C (max.)

Outside wet-bulb temp: +30C (max.)

Product Receiving system : Open trucks

Product Temperature at the time of loading 20 C to 25 C

Storage system : 50kg Bags stacked on Mezzanine floors