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Ice formation in cold storage distribution centers poses a major issue. It is not only a health and safety concern, but can also drastically affect workflow. Changes in legislation suggest that monitoring the temperature and humidity is essential to ensuring safe storage in both warehouses and in transit. So how important is dehumidification?
Involving staff in the removal of snow and ice directly impacts your spending by decreasing productivity. However, this process is essential to ensure that health and safety requirements are met. Evaporator defrost cycles (either by electricity or gas) can also be costly in terms of energy and the possible impact on cold store temperatures.
By the very nature of these facilities, goods are constantly entering and leaving the cold store. Every time a truck docks, moisture enters the facility in the form of warm, moist, ambient air. This mixes with the air within the facility and condenses on all of the cold surfaces it comes into contact with. Where the temperature is below freezing, this condensation manifests itself as ice (and snow) on all internal surfaces, from fork trucks, through racking, and to the actual product itself.
This build-up of ice and snow is constant, and requires the walls and ceilings to be constantly cleaned. This task quickly becomes time consuming in order to reduce the risk of accidents.
In addition to the obvious, visible issues, ice can also affect the electronics on MHE and weighing equipment. Ice can track down cables leading to shorting or ghosting of signals if care is not taken to prevent the build-up.
Active dehumidification of the air entering the facility is a highly effective method of controlling this problem. With internal and external temperature differentials ranging from -28 to as much as 30°C in summer, the differences in moisture held by the air at these extremes are significant. In the height of summer, the external ambient moisture content can be as much as 14g/kg or higher. By comparison, saturated (100%RH) air at typical -220C cold store temperatures can only hold around 0.5g/kg. This excess moisture has to go somewhere, and it ends up condensing on colder surfaces and freezes if that temperature is below 00C.
Fixed Install Dehumidifier