How to

5 October 2016

Tips for Dealing with Condensation in Cold Storage

Image Source: foodplantengineering.com
Humidity is perhaps the second most important consideration in cold storage after temperature. Low condensation levels can cause goods to dry out, but high levels can cause electronic malfunctions, rotting food goods, mold or bacterial build-up. Such things can render an entire shipment utterly useless. There are a number of different things you can do to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

Prevention

The best way to combat condensation is to make sure it never builds up in the first place. A big part of this is just good maintenance, regular cleaning of the units (and immediate drying), making sure that the ventilation is consistent and keeping the refrigerated units at or below 4°C (freezers at or below 0) are all essential.

Beyond this, you should make sure that the units are adequately insulated, fit air curtains to all the doors (or roller doors) and use the most state-of-art monitoring systems for air quality. Most importantly, you need to use safety gear which will warn you when leaks occurs, and isolates them before they become an issue.

The last thing you can do is to make sure that there’s a clear limit to how many people are in the units at one time. People are the most common source of condensation you’ll be dealing with, make sure that your units are built to handle them. A dehumidifier is a sound investment, to say the least.

Removal

If it’s too late, and you’re already experiencing condensation build up, it’s not the end of the world. There are still a number of different steps you can take to get rid of it before the goods are in any way contaminated. The most direct approach is de-icing and de-frosting, both using a heat source (gas or electric).

External heat sources will warm the air that runs through the evaporators or even goes into the coils, but you have to actually turn the liquid refrigerant supply off in order to do this. Once that’s done the cycle stops and the unit starts working again as normal.

With heat supplied from an internal source, you have to increase the condensing pressure to warm the evaporators, and then use the gas from the refrigerant to melt away the ice. The different kinds of systems you can use to this vary wildly, so make certain you’ve picked the right one for your type of unit. In either case, call can expert, this isn’t the kind of situation you want to deal with by yourself.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop.