Batch Hydro Cooling
Batch hydro cooling is different from conventional continuous hydro cooling. Batch hydro cooling does not use a conveyor belt. Palletized packages, or bulk bins are loaded in to the cooling chamber with a fork lift. The doors of the cooling chamber are then closed. Cold water, in large quantities is sprayed over the top of the crop. Once the crop is cooled the water is collected, filtered, cooled and recycled. The doors are then opened and the washed and cooled crop bins are replaced with the next load.
The cooling chamber can hold a variety of pallets or bins. Small batch cooling machines can hold one pallet at a time, while larger ones can hold as many as eight pallets. Hydro coolers are less expensive and take up less room. They are best fitted for smaller production farms.
Hydro coolers cool produce about 15 times quicker than simple air cooling. Some hydro coolers use a powerful fan to push the chilled water down over the crop. The forced air in conjunction with the cold water, chills quicker, covers the produce more uniformly than using gravity alone. This combination of chilled water and fan is called hydro-air cooling. This type of cooling is used on produce that is hard to cool quickly.