Cold-Storage Facility

Cold-Storage Facility

 

an installation intended for the cooling, freezing, and cold storage of perishable food products and other perishables. A large cold-storage facility, which operates as an independent enterprise, comprises a cold-storage warehouse with truck and railroad platforms, compressor and condenser rooms for a refrigerating system, a cooling tower, reservoirs and a pumping station for a circulating water supply, administration and residential buildings, and other buildings and installations.

Depending on their purpose, cold-storage facilities in the USSR are classified as industrial, distributive (used for wholesale trade), port, central, and commercial (used for trade networks and food services). Industrial cold-storage facilities are intended for the cold processing and storage of chilled or frozen food products (seeCOOLING OF FOOD PRODUCTS and FREEZING OF FOOD PRODUCTS). They are located in areas where the products are produced and procured and in centers where the products are consumed. Such facilities may be sections of food-processing enterprises, such as meat-packing plants and dairy combines, or they may be independent enterprises in places where, for example, poultry and eggs are procured. Distributive cold-storage facilities are intended for the provision of a steady year-round supply of seasonal food products to cities and industrial centers. Such cold-storage facilities are often found at plants that make ice cream, dry ice, or liquid carbon dioxide or at plants that, for example, package butter. Complexes of this type are called cold-storage plants.

Port cold-storage facilities are used for the short-term storage of freight when freight is transferred from one type of transport to another, for example, from water to railroad transport, and are usually built in river ports or seaports. Central cold-storage facilities are intended for the long-term storage of products drawn from processing-and-procurement cold-storage facilities for the purpose of creating reserves. Commercial cold-storage facilities, such as refrigerated cabinets and sectional coolers, are used for the short-term storage of products at trading depots and in, for example, stores, dining rooms, and restaurants. In addition to general-purpose cold-storage facilities, which are intended for the storage of a wide variety of products, specialized cold-storage facilities are built for the storage of such products as fruits, vegetables, eggs, and salted fish.

Cold-storage facilities contain refrigerated rooms maintained at various temperatures. The air temperature ranges from 4° to –5°C in cold-storage rooms, from – 20° to – 30°C in frozen-food storage rooms, from 0° to –30°C in general-purpose storage rooms, down to –10°C in cooling rooms, and from –30° to –40°C in freezer rooms. All such refrigerated rooms have insulated doors.

Freight handling at cold-storage facilities is mechanized with the aid of hoisting and conveying machines. Such machines include freight elevators (for multistory facilities), electric loaders, storage-battery trucks, and freight trolleys.

For the storage of fruits, vegetables, and certain other products, cold-storage facilities are built that contain rooms in which, along with the required temperature and humidity conditions, an atmosphere consisting of air with a specific gas composition is maintained. Such an atmosphere is a controlled gaseous medium containing more nitrogen or carbon dioxide than ordinary air; this makes it possible to prolong the storage of products, improve the quality of stored products, and reduce the losses incurred during storage. The required gas composition of the air is produced by means of gas exchangers and diffusers or gas generators. The structures that enclose the rooms in such facilities should be hermetically sealed; materials used for this purpose include metal sheets with welded seams, bituminous-rubber cements, and special polymer films. The doors of the rooms are hermetically sealed.

Depending on such factors as capacity and conditions at the construction site, a cold-storage facility may be single-story or multistory. Facilities with storage capacities of 10,000 or more tons are usually multistory. Various precast standardized rein-forced-concrete structural members and special lightweight structural members are used in the construction of cold-storage facilities. The reinforced-concrete structural members include columns, beams, and slabs; the lightweight structural members are sandwich panels consisting of a preshaped aluminum or galvanized metal sheet and a layer of low-temperature insulation.

The capacity and design of a cold-storage facility are chosen in the planning stage. The choice is based on the following considerations: keeping capital expenditures for construction as low as possible, providing conditions for the maximum mechanization of freight handling, and creating temperature and humidity conditions that will reduce storage losses.

REFERENCE

Proektirovanie kholodil’nikov. Moscow, 1972.

V. V. VASIUTOVICH

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