Frost protection equipment

 In Frost protection, Operational management

Our brief was to provide a UK vineyard with a frost protection strategy and equipment recommendation. A vineyard site frost risk assessment was carried out with the vineyard manager to identify areas most prone to frost. The assessment considered topography, surrounding terrain, site architecture, soil character, cultivars, vine training system, and vine management practices. All this valuable information, when combined with our local temperature data and a vineyard site air flow model, enabled a comprehensive frost risk analysis.

Our findings both concurred with the vineyard managers experience regarding risk areas, and identified new areas at risk from cold air building up below the vineyard site and back-flowing into the vineyard. In this case the quantity of cold air, during a radiation ground frost, draining into the site from surrounding land was significant and a high risk. Although the vineyard was on a slope, allowing cold air drainage, the land below the vineyard acted as a cold air lake and the significant build-up of cold air in it would cause it to flow back up into the vineyard. We recommended a set of passive protection measures and site amelioration strategies to reduce cold air flowing into the vineyard and limit the risk of damage in the lower regions.

We also recommended the best option of removing the cold air that was causing damage, through a Selective Inverted Sink (SIS). The SIS extracts the offending cold air by forcing it over 90m into the atmosphere and above the inversion layer, thus allowing warmer air to enter the vineyard site. We recommended where the SIS would need siting and the suitable model.

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