Wind machine (frost protection)

Because of climate and geographical position of Armenia, freezing is a serious threat for the farmers. This phenomenon injures the plants during early spring, when the plant is active and it is not ready for freezing cold air, as it was during winter. The cold air with below zero temperature invades close to the ground surface and creates a layer with thickness of about 5-25 meters, which injures the trees and plants([1]).

There are two main methods to protect the plants from freezing: Active protection and Passive protection. Using both methods at the same time provides the best protection. The passive protection consists of`

  • Site selection – in order to reduce the risk of freezing, the site should be selected very carefully.
  • Plant selection – it is wise to plant frost resistant plants in risky areas.
  • Fertilizers – application of adequate fertilizers at the correct period of time.
  • Irrigation – it is advised to irrigate the orchards well before freezing period.

The main ways of active protection are:

  1. Smoke (heaters)
  2. Wind machine

The most popular active way to protect the orchards from freezing in Armenia is smoke and heaters. In large farms and orchards the application of this method requires large workforce, high operational costs and large amount of fuel. One of the modern and effective ways of active protection is wind machine, which consists of a large fan installed on a tall pole. During the threat, the machine begins to rotate and mixes the bottom cold air with the higher and warmer air and balances the air temperature surrounding the plants ([2]). (For more details visit here: Wind Machine (Froze protection)).

Though acquiring wind machine requires quite a big investment, its productivity fully justifies its cost and as a result the protected area provides good harvest both quantitatively and qualitatively.

[1] Richard L. Snyder (2000). Principles of Frost Protection. California, University of California, Atmospheric Science.
[2] Richard L. Snyder, J. Paulo de Melo-Abreu (2005). Frost protection: Fundamentals, practice, and economics. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Prepared by AHPC engineer Narek Khachikyan