How to Cool Produce and Meat in a Warehouse
With well over 318,000,000 mouths to feed in the US, refrigerated and frozen foods account for the majority of product in cold storage warehouses. Cold storage is important to other industries, such as petro-chemicals and high-tech electronics, but safely preserving meats and produce is an increasingly huge demand. As that demand grows, so does the need for industrial air conditioning that can maintain food storage without excessive costs.
Cost saving is important to cold storage because it takes more energy to cool air than it does to heat it. Different foods require different temperature zones; produce is normally stored at 55 degrees Fahrenheit, dairy at 34, and meat at 28 degrees. And cooling systems must do more than blow cold air. Dehumidification is also necessary to remove excess moisture which would otherwise turn to ice build-up that could potentially damage products and equipment.
Warehouses that require different temperatures for storing a mix of products usually have a modular curtain wall that is a flexible, low-risk option that can be moved, and won’t impede traffic or visual zones needed to maintain safety around moving forklifts and pallet jacks. According to MovinCool.com, companies can hang panels of see-through, flexible plastic to provide for this while creating some insulation between different temperature zones. But as zones and seasons change, or sections empty temporarily of product, condensation and melting can lead to significant moisture from AC equipment that seeps into walls and floors. Water damage restoration is always of concern in maintaining cold storage facilities.