Prototype of forced air cooling system for dehumidifying of orchid cut-flowers

P. Chaisrichonlathan, C. Chavapradit
Dehumidification of surplus moisture in orchid cut-flowers is essential before packaging for export. Low efficient conventional dehumidifying system including axial flow fans and moveable screen-rack shelfs were generally utilized with lengthy processing time and flower injury. A prototype of forced cooling air system with high volume of cool air to rapidly reduce excess moisture from orchid cut-flowers was designed and developed. The prototype is a tunnel type cabinet in which two screen-rack shelves can be deposited in one side and taken out from the other. One cross flow fan of 30 cm in diameter and 35,000 BTU cooling system were sited above the orchid rack cart tunnel. As a closed system, cool air is forced to circulate from the cross flow fan to detach orchid moisture, and thereby condensation of circulated wet air attains at cooling coil of air-conditioning system. Samples of 1,200 orchid bundles with 600 g in weight of each were dipped in water and dehumidified by the forced cooling air system, and their weight was measured at 10-min intervals until stable weight was attained or predipped weight. The prototype dehumidified them within only 60 min, half of conventional dehumidifying system. The prototype of force cooling air system was proved to be able to decrease dehumidifying time of orchid cut-flowers without flower injury. Prototype of forced air cooling system ought to be developed for higher capability.
Chaisrichonlathan, P. and Chavapradit, C. 2017. Prototype of forced air cooling system for dehumidifying of orchid cut-flowers. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1167:387-392
surplus moisture, dehumidification, closed system, cross flow fan

Acta Horticulturae