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Coldroom – Chiller


What’s a cold room or chiller?

A cold room, also commonly referred to as a chiller, is a temperature-controlled storage space used in agriculture, particularly on small farms, to preserve and extend the shelf life of harvested produce, dairy products, meat, and other perishable goods. It provides a controlled environment where the temperature, humidity, and sometimes ventilation can be adjusted to create optimal conditions for the storage of various agricultural products.

Purpose and Uses: Cold rooms are crucial for maintaining the freshness and quality of produce, preventing spoilage, and reducing the growth of bacteria and fungi that can cause decay. By storing products at low temperatures, you can slow down the enzymatic and microbial processes that lead to deterioration. Some common uses of cold rooms on small farms include:

  1. Produce Storage: Fruits, vegetables, and herbs can be stored in a cold room to extend their shelf life. Different types of produce have varying temperature and humidity requirements, which can be adjusted accordingly in the cold room.
  2. Dairy and Meat Storage: Milk, cheese, and meat products require controlled temperature and humidity to prevent bacterial growth and maintain freshness.
  3. Flower Preservation: Cold rooms are used in flower farming to store cut flowers and extend their vase life.
  4. Seed Storage: Certain seeds benefit from cold storage to maintain their viability over time.
  5. Post-Harvest Handling: Cold rooms are used to temporarily store freshly harvested produce before it’s transported to markets or processing facilities.

Building a Cold Room:

Building a cold room on a small farm involves several key steps:

  1. Location: Choose a suitable location for the cold room. It should be accessible to the farm and have adequate space for the size of the cold room you intend to build.
  2. Design: Design the cold room based on the products you plan to store and the volume of produce. Consider factors like insulation, flooring, lighting, shelving, and ventilation.
  3. Insulation: Proper insulation is critical to maintain a consistent temperature inside the cold room. Common insulation materials include foam panels, polyurethane, or expanded polystyrene.
  4. Refrigeration System: Install a refrigeration system that suits the size of your cold room. This could involve using a split-system air conditioner, a commercial refrigeration unit, or even a coolbot system that turns a standard air conditioner into a cold room cooler.
  5. Temperature Control: Install a temperature control unit that allows you to set and monitor the desired temperature. Modern units might even come with humidity control features.
  6. Ventilation: Depending on the products being stored, proper ventilation might be necessary to regulate humidity and prevent condensation buildup.
  7. Shelving and Layout: Install shelving units to organize the products efficiently and maximize space utilization.
  8. Electrical Wiring: Ensure proper electrical wiring for the refrigeration system, lighting, and any other equipment. You need electricity or a solar powered air conditioner (with a CoolBot controller, see below)
  9. Security: Implement security measures to protect the stored products from theft or unauthorized access.
  10. Maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain the cold room, including cleaning the interior, checking the refrigeration system, and replacing any damaged insulation.

Remember that building a cold room requires careful consideration of factors like the climate in your region, the types of products you’ll store, and the budget available. It’s advisable to consult with professionals or experienced farmers who have built cold rooms before embarking on the construction process.

Build a Coldroom with a normal airconditioner

A CoolBot is a device used to transform a standard air conditioner into an efficient cooling system for small cold storage spaces, such as walk-in coolers or cold rooms. It works by overriding the air conditioner’s built-in temperature sensors, allowing the unit to operate at colder temperatures than it would under normal circumstances. This would allow you to run your cold room directly off solar power as well with a solar powered air conditioner. If you are handy you can also make your own CoolBot like controller as shown in the video below.

This innovation is particularly popular among small-scale farmers and businesses seeking a cost-effective solution for creating and maintaining cold storage environments without the need for specialized refrigeration equipment.

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