Cold storage is a facility or a warehouse where the temperature is regulated to prevent the decay and contamination of sensitive materials. The stored materials usually have a specific requirement of temperature and humidity to extend their storage life. Cold storages deal with that exact necessity. Some cold storages are made for a particular group of products and hence unadjustable in nature. Contrarily, other cold storages settings can be changed, further allowing storage of diverse products.
Cold storages are an integral part of the business too. It wouldn’t be a big stretch if we claim that the totality of relatable businesses depends on cold storage. Because the cold storage can’t function properly, the products become defective and thus the overall business founders.
How a Cold Storage Works
It’s essential to have some idea of how cold storage manufacturers build cold storage if you plan on storing your products here. Let’s have a primary idea of its process:
Figure: Cold Storage Diagram
The cold storage is a huge refrigerator that maintains a certain atmosphere (temperature and humidity) in the facility.
The most important equipment for cold storage is the compressor. It’s responsible for the entirety of the power consumption of the facility. The compressor raises the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant. As a result, the boiling point of that refrigerant increases and thus condenses.
Then the condenser turns the gaseous state of the refrigerant into the liquid state. The refrigerant is stored for some time. The temperature and pressure are decreased as the refrigerant moves through the expansion valve. Finally, the surrounding heat turns the refrigerant gaseous and commences the cooling effect. This cool air is circulated in the facility through the blower.
This whole process carries on simultaneously without any break. Disruption of single equipment may sabotage the whole process.
Commodities that can be stored in a Cold Storage
A very generalized perspective is that only food items are stored in cold storage. However, this is not true at all. In the present-day world, cold stores are used to store a multitude of items:
- Food Items
- Medicines and Pharmaceuticals
- Sculptures and Paintings
Types of Cold Storage
Based on the type of product, required exposure to cold and the quantity of product, cold storage is divided into many kinds.
Even though Bangladesh is a small country, a huge sector of it is composed of agrarian products. This is why there are many kinds of cold storage in Bangladesh too. Let’s have a look at the most common types of cold storage:
- Bulk Cold Storage
These stores are mostly used to store seasonal products like potatoes, apples, chilies, etc. These storages use a very efficient process. The storage stores the cold energy of winter and uses it for cooling purposes in the summer seasons. This makes this system very cost-effective.
The cold energy is stored in an insulated tank in the form of ice. Then ice is then chilled to form the refrigerant for summer. This brings down the production of greenhouse gases and electricity consumption.
- Refrigerator Containers
This is the most basic yet cost-effective cold storage system. It’s mostly catered to store small amounts of product for a limited amount of time. The small storage facility also allows workers to carry the products faster.
- Multi-purpose Cold Stores
Multi-purpose cold stores are necessary for a large number of products that must be stored throughout the year. It can also include raw meat like products of lamb, chicken etc. These facilities are made close to the consumption centers for better mobility.
- Small Cold Stores
These cold stores are used to store products that need pre-cooling facilities. It usually stores export products like grapes. Based on cost-analysis and safety parameters, the producers can choose from a few options: mechanical refrigeration, electric-based or passive evaporative cooling.
- Blast Freezers and Chillers
These are mostly large cold storage that stores items for instantaneous use. The items that are stored here are used with utensils and other specialist products. These are usually found in expensive restaurants and other similar facilities.
- Pharmaceutical Grade Cold Stores
Hospitals, labs and other research facilities have these heavily customized pharmaceutical-grade cold stores. It is used to store exotic specimens, blood, medicines, serums and other vaccines.
- Frozen Food Cold Store
These cold stores specialize in storing processed food products, fish, meat, poultry and other dairy products. These are usually sensitive products that are susceptible to bacteria contamination. To prevent that, the temperature is kept around -18°C. It can also stay from -30° to 0° Fahrenheit if the products require that. Sometimes the products can need extra processing i.e. thawing them for extended periods. These kinds of cold storage are mandatory for small and medium-sized businesses. It’s one of the most common types of cold storage in Bangladesh.
- Customized Cold Storage Warehouse Facilities
These are heavily customized cold storage facilities for big corporations and companies. These are the most expensive to build. The basic cold storage laws may even become void here. It requires the active participation of experts to maintain these kinds of warehouses. The Cold store facility service of warehouse solution companies may also fall in this category.
Cold Storages are an integral part of ensuring product safety and quality. Failure in proper cooling of temperature and humidity sensitive products may result in substantial monetary loss. Cold storage manufacturers make the perfect cold storage facility that will not only be economical but also be safe and have adequate maintenance measures. Cold stores are necessary to extend the shelf-life of products. It’s imperative that the clients carry out a cost-benefit analysis to determine what type and size of storage facility they should avail.