Contractor Meets Needs of Record Northwest Apple Harvest
Washington State had a record apple harvest in 2012, so Double-Kold of Yakima, WA, stepped up to expand storage capacity rapidly for growers across the state by relying on Baltimore Aircoil Company’s (BAC) products. After apples are harvested in the fall, they need to be stored in cold rooms for several months to supply various markets for the entire year.
In 2012, the apple crop in the east was very low, and most of Michigan’s apple crop was damaged by hail storms. Washington, however, had perfect weather—a warm summer with just enough rain and a mild spring with nearly no frosts. Additionally, many of the orchards in Washington were redesigned to be high-density orchards. Therefore, Washington State provided two thirds of the apples for the entire United States in 2012, a 20-percent increase from its previous record high.
As a result of the high crop yield, available cold storage rooms for the apples were maxed out. Doubl-Kold, a leader among industrial refrigeration contractors in the Pacific Northwest, has been serving and providing solutions to the area’s fruit industry for over 30 years. They are noted for their expertise in cold storage designs and installations. Together with their local BAC representative, Doubl-Kold has been integral in the overall expansion of cold storage availability. In addition to new construction cold storage, Doubl-Kold has stepped in and offered advice in making existing cold storage rooms more efficient. They recognize that Washington farmers need an evaporative condenser that is easy to maintain and has high capacity.
From November through April, Doubl-Kold purchased several hundred tons of BAC’s VCA evaporative condensers as part of the refrigeration system for these apple orchard cold rooms. Doubl-Kold selected the VCA because of its wide tonnage range in capacity (87 to 1,443 R-717 tons in a single unit), reliability, and ease of maintenance. This industry workhorse is made of heavy-duty, hot-dip galvanized steel panels. With options ranging from equipment controls to access packages, the VCA was designed with the operator in mind. The many access options make it easy to maintain and inspect. Also, the entire drive system is located at the base of the unit, providing unrestricted access to the premium efficient independent fan motors, axial fans, and bearings. Two large access doors are standard with every sideblow VCA, and one door is included on end-blow units.
According to Ken Adams, vice president of sales at Doubl-Kold, “At the average apple orchard there are six to 20 cold storage rooms, and each room needs an evaporative condenser. Some of the apple orchard cold rooms are over 40 years old and have BAC condensers that are over 20 years old. This year, due to the apple harvest increase, many of my customers upgraded and replaced condensers in order to increase their capacity.
“In 2012, the apple harvest yielded approximately 130 million boxes of crops; in 2013, it is projected there will be 150 million boxes of crops,” Adams continued. “To keep the apples cool for the 2013 season, there will need to be a 20-percent increase of cold storage facilities to 800 cold rooms.” Adams also noted that not building new cold rooms—or not cooling them as efficiently as possible—could potentially result in a loss of up to $500 million for all of the apple orchards in the Pacific Northwest region.
Doubl-Kold is using its expertise in industrial refrigeration along with shrewd market analysis to anticipate client needs. Using BAC products helps Doubl-Kold meet its customers’ unique needs.
To learn more about BAC products or to contact your local BAC representative, visit www.BaltimoreAircoil.com/SS.