Effective humidification keeps dormant trees healthy

An Airtec high-pressure adiabatic humidification system – designed, supplied and installed by Humidity Solutions – is helping J&A Growers Ltd to create the cold store conditions required to keep young trees and hedging plants dormant until they are ready for planting.

The system has been designed to maintain very close control of humidity while avoiding condensation at low temperatures.

Based in Warwick, J&A Growers is one of the UK’s leading wholesale growers of mostly native species of seedlings, trees and hedging for a wide range of purposes – including forest, hedgerow & roadside planting and landscaping. The new Humidity Solutions system has replaced an older compressed air and water humidification system that was failing regularly, proving expensive to run because of the use of compressed air and also costly to repair.

Jamie Dewhurst of J&A Growers explained: “We maintain a temperature of 2°C at a relative humidity of around 95% to keep the plants dormant after they have been harvested in the winter. This helps to extend the planting season and ensures that plants arrive on the planting site in optimal condition.”

As the refrigeration process dries the air in the cold store, humidification is essential to avoid desiccating the dormant plants. However, it is equally important to avoid condensation in these low-temperature conditions, as this can lead to fungal attacks.

This is achieved by using high efficiency atomisers in the Airtec system to ensure a short evaporative distance, thereby avoiding condensation. A further benefit is that the adiabatic cooling effect of the system when the water evaporates helps to reduce the energy consumption of the refrigeration plant by providing 0.6kW of cooling per litre of water atomised.

“The control of the system is critical to maintaining the right conditions and we have been very pleased with the performance of the Humidity Solutions solution, as well as the service that goes with it,” Jamie Dewhurst added.

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