Orchard-Rite, The world's most trusted machine for frost protection
Frost is not a thing of beauty to a vineyard owner. It can destroy years of hard work in an instant. Learning to outsmart mother nature and protect young wine grapes from freeze, has been the focus of Orchard-Rite since 1967.
Today Orchard-Rite, located in Washington state in the U.S., and their team of dedicated employees, have been building their innovative frost fans for over 55 years. Their machines pull the warmer air from the inversion layer during a radiational spring frost, down to the crop zone to keep the tender new growth from freezing and causing lasting damage. The Orchard-Rite product is known for quality and reliability and their frost fans have now eclipsed sales of over 38,000 machines worldwide.
“The Orchard-Rite team of engineers continue to find ways to improve our frost fans, ensuring that wine growers invest in the best frost protection in the industry,” says Jim Decoto, CEO of Orchard-Rite. “Our data on thrust, wind momentum, air flow and noise, have been independently tested and certified. The data is clear. Orchard-Rite frost fans have the lowest fuel consumption, have the highest volume of airflow, amount of thrust and level of wind momentum. No other frost fan manufacturer can say that,” Decoto continues.
“The testing data also clearly shows that the Orchard-Rite 2430, tri-blade machine is the quietest in the industry. It was tested and certified to meet Australian and New Zealand noise standards,” says Decoto. He adds, “the testing numbers prove our machine is the quietest; 49 dB at 300 meters and 55 dB at 150 meters.”
Orchard-Rite’s ORCell product was developed to provide growers complete control and monitoring over their frost fans from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This technology informs the grower in real time about the status of each machine, reducing labor costs to monitor them during a frost season. ORCell increases efficiency, saving time, effort and crops.
“With the ORCell system, growers can remotely control, monitor and manage their frost fans anywhere, anytime and from any computer or mobile device” says Decoto. This state-of-the-art cellular communication network and service, work seamlessly with all Orchard-Rite frost fans equipped with AutoStart®, providing piece of mind that vineyards will always be protected even if you are half-way around the globe.
There are similar products in the industry but, not all offer the many features and benefits that the ORCell control and monitoring system provides. Many of the competitors are not able to offer critical features such as Start/Stop and Set Differential Temperature, the ability to use I.S. with fuel sensors, alarms for low oil pressure, overheating, blown fuses, lost CAN communication, wind delays and inability to start.
“Another key feature of the ORCell system is mapping” says Tyler Carey, ORCell manager at Orchard-Rite. “Mapping allows the grower to see an aerial map of all frost fans and helps to easily identify a singular machine that needs attention” adds Carey. Equally important is the ability to access information in “real time” with the ORCell system. “No time is lost when a critical issue needs addressing” says Carey. When seconds count during a weather event, ORCell delivers the information you need to correct the issue before serious damage takes hold.
Mother nature doesn’t always play nice, but thankfully there are products available to help prevent the damage she can cause. “The combination of Orchard-Rite frost fans with the ORCell system, provides peace of mind that your vineyard will be protected in critical weather events, even when you can’t be there” says Decoto.