Agrofrost NV

- Model F501, F252 and F152 - Frost Buster Machine

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Don’t  look for a cheaper protection per hectare because you will find none. Even more, the Frostbuster has several advantages compared to other frost protection systems: you can protect your crops in places where no water is available, or protect fruit which cannot be protected with water. It can be used not only during radiation frost but also during wind frost, and a lot of farmers use the Frostbuster to improve fruit set.

The Frostbuster is a trailed or 3-point mounted machine. The powerful fan is driven by the PTO of the tractor. A gas burner heats the air up to 80-85 ° Celsius. The heated air is blown between the trees through 2 outlets (1 at the left and 1 at the right). The total surface that can be protected depends on the shape and the dimensions of the plot and on the model and is maximum 8 to 10 hectares.

Instead of warming up the atmosphere, the Frostbuster uses phase transition to protect your orchards and vineyards. In a few words: by controlling the ice forming and by recuperating the energy that is liberated when vapor changes into ice, it provides an excellent protection with a minimum input of energy.

There are 4 different models: one trailed model and three 3-point mounted models.

The Trailed Frostbuster F501: our Top Model
During the last 15 years, the Frostbuster has proven to be very effective and very reliable. The F501 is already the third generation of the Frostbuster. It’s are most powerful machine. The most important improvements, compared to the previous generation (F401), are:

  • New pulse burner with burner controller and ionization sensor, which makes it the safest burner used in agriculture.
  • The F501 can hold 8 or 10 gas bottles, so it has a bigger autonomy, up to 10 hours.
  • Possibility to start up the burner automatically, depending on the RPM of the fan: if a certain speed level (RPM of fan) is exceeded, the burner will start automatically. When the speed drops back below this level, the burner will be switched off.
  • Gear box with overrunning clutch.
  • The temperature can be adjusted from the control box in the tractor’s cabine (option).

The 3-Point mounted Frostbusters F252  – F152
In many countries, farmers do not have tractors of 65 hp or more. To help these farmers, we decided to develop a few 3-point mounted machines, that require less horsepower.

These machines have a 2-speed gear box. On the lower speed, less horsepower is needed. Of course, the protected area will be smaller.

To have most weight as close to the tractor as possible, the fan is mounted vertically and two gas bottles are put in front of the fan.

There are 2 different models:

  • The F252 has two lower exits. It’s capacity (6 to 8 ha) is not as big as the capacity of the F501 (8 to 10 ha)
  • The F152 has only one exit below and therefore less capacity then the F252 (2 to 4 ha). It’s ideal for smaller, narrow plots.

The Frostbuster is a trailed or 3-point mounted machine. The powerful fan is driven by the PTO of the tractor. In the air inlet of the fan, there is a gas burner that heats the air up to 80° Celsius. At the back of the machine are the containers for the gas bottles.

The heated air is blown between the trees through 2 outlets (1 at the left and 1 at the right). Because the air flow is so powerful, we cover a distance up to 40 to 50 meters at each side of the machine. Therefore, it’s only necessary to drive through the rows every 60 to 90 meters. We will calculate for you the ideal circuit which is different for almost every orchard. However, it is very important to pass at the same spot within 10 minutes. The total surface that can be protected depends on the shape and the dimensions of the plot.

The working principle is phase transition.

Unlike all other frost protection systems, our system is not based on raising the temperature above the critical values but on phase transition. Or in this case by controlling the forming of hoarfrost. Where our machines are used, we notice a significantly lower formation of hoarfrost. We all know that hoarfrost is the biggest enemy for the flowers and buds. But there is a way to use the enemy for protection.

The transformation of vapour into hoarfrost is called desublimation or deposition and liberates a lot of energy. This energy is transferred to its surroundings, in this case the surrounding air but above all into the leaves and flowers themselves. We know that it’s precisely the hoarfrost that normally causes most damages. This is because the ice crystals extract energy and humidity from the flower. Without protection, the layer of hoarfrost will increase and finally cause damages by dehydration and under-cooling.

But not with our system. Because we pass with a hot air stream, every 7 to 10 minutes, part of the ice evaporates (called sublimation) and the remaining ice gets energy from the passing air. The higher the humidity, the more energy that is transferred. After a few minutes, the air cools down again, the relative humidity increases and some new rime will be formed. This liberates again energy and gives again energy to the flowers. This allows us to create an optimal protection with only a fraction of the energy input that is needed by other systems.

The Frostbuster can be used almost everywhere and for several applications:

  • For night frost protection in orchards for all kind of fruit, in vineyards, in greenhouses and plastic tunnels, for strawberries, raspberries, flowers, vegetables, apples, pears, peaches, plums etc.
  • To improve the fruit set in low temperature during blossom.
  • To raise the temperature in plastic tunnels, to bring forward the first harvest date in the beginning of the season, or to pick later at the end of the season.

  • Better fruit set.
  • Cheap: other systems will cost at least 3 times more for the same protected surface.
  • Not a fix installation but mobile so it can be used in every plot.
  • Low consumption therefore a low price per hour.
  • Low maintenance costs.
  • Environmental friendly: burning of propane gas.
  • No risk of diseases as in case of the use of water.
  • Easy to use.
  • Can be used to heat up plastic tunnels (in England frequently used for this).
  • Works not only in case of radiation frost but also in case of wind frost.
  • No permits needed (like for construction or environment).
  • Possibility to set up and run quickly.
  • Fast shut down for example when the temperature rises quickly.

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