Design of Room Cooling Facilities: Structural & Energy Requirements

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Although cooling increases production cost, it is essential to maintaining high product quality. No amount of cooling, however, will improve poor-quality produce. If you wish to have high-quality produce after cooling and storage, you must start with high-quality produce. Maintaining quality requires harvesting the crop at the correct stage of maturity; handling it with tender, loving care; and quickly cooling it to the proper storage temperature.

Many factors must be considered when planning and building a cooling facility. Among them are how it is to be used, the types and amounts of produce to be cooled and stored, and the desired refrigeration capacity. The correct size of a cooling facility cannot be determined strictly on a "square foot per acre" basis. Similarly, the capacity of the refrigeration system needed cannot be accurately determined solely on the basis of the floor area or volume of the facility. By taking the time to follow the design procedures described in this publication, you can assure yourself that the facility you build will be adequate to meet your needs under all foreseeable conditions.


  • Why Cool
  • Planning Before You Build
    • Types of Produce, Quantity and Movement of Produce,
    • Storage Capacity, Produce Packages, Location and Layout
  • Design and Contruction
    • Foundation and Floor, Insulation, Doors, and
    • Other Hardware Items
  • Calculating the Heat Load
  • Sizing the Refrigeration System
  • Reducing the Refrigeration Load
  • Other Factors to Consider
    • Condensation and Humidity, Sanitation and Maintenance,
    • Temperature Control, Container Design and Positioning
  • Plan for a Refrigerated Storage Building


M. D. Boyette
L. G. Wilson
E. A. Estes
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service