Frequently Asked Questions
Why use warm air?
Adding air warmed to 30oC makes more sense than hoping you will get a 3oC input from an inversion layer with a wind turbine. Our experience in frosts below -2oC for 4 hours or -3oC for 2 hours is that we have a very good success rate. Non heated air systems can lose 20% – 50% of the crop.
How much heat is added?
Heat Ranger burns between 110-150kg of LPG every hour and this converts to produce between 5500-7000 megajoules (MG) or 1500-2000kW of heat into your vineyard for every hour that you have potential frost conditions. This heat is applied to your vineyard irrespective of any inversion layer. We do not know of any other machine that can match this.
Why use LPG?
LPG is readily available and is one of the cleanest fuels available. The machine can be set up to run on any flammable gas such as Natural Gas or Hydrogen. A Vapour fuel enables us to have an integrated aerodynamic burner and the same fuel is used to run the engine.
Who makes the gas supply arrangements?
The person buying the Heat Ranger must make appropriate arrangements with a local gas supply agency and we can assist in setting out the requirements. It is important that the storage and the refuelling are both covered.
Is the Heat Ranger more expensive to run than frost fans?
Yes, and with good reason. A frost fan is only running an engine to push air. Heat Ranger also has an engine to push air and while it is a lot more efficient at pushing air because of its aerodynamic design, the bulk of the fuel is used to provide heat energy for the direct benefit of your crop.
Can I access the Heat Ranger on line in real time?
Yes, the Heat Ranger system has a web based, live communication system, where it’s status can be checked in real time, on line, or with a mobile phone. This is provided for your machines at a realistic cost and we can also provide an optional, year round monitoring service. The Heat Ranger is supplied with 5 x 5m masts with three temperature sensors on each mast and one has an anemometer and a humidity sensor as well. These report to the machine and are part of the web based Dashboard that gives you all the machine and temperature data being collected. The Dashboard enables you to adjust any of the parameters and start and stop the machine remotely.
Do you have service arrangements in place?
Yes, where we have a Heat Ranger machine we discuss the service requirements with the client and put in place an appropriately contracted technician that is available on call and who does the annual pre-season service. This service is recorded on the machine Dash-Board and Heat Ranger can update the technician based on the online information and the service record that we maintain for every Heat Ranger system.
Can I operate and check on the Heat Ranger with my cell phone?
We are developing an app that will enable you do exactly that.
Can Heat Ranger be set to operate automatically?
The Heat Ranger system is automatic and operated from a range of sensors in your vineyard at your chosen parameter settings. These sensors also provide a historical record that is relevant for your business. There is also a controller on the machine so that you can operate it manually if you do not have internet coverage.
How does Heat Ranger deal with irregular shaped areas?
Heat Ranger is normally set to rotate 20 times per hour but the speed can be programmed within each revolution to go slower or faster to account for different shaped areas.
Do we Guarantee to beat every frost?
While Heat Ranger adds warm air over an area which can be as large as 15ha and increases the air temperature, there are limits to what it can do. It will not protect against severe and protracted frost events such as -5oC for 4 hours. Overhead sprinklers are the only system that we know of that can protect against colder frosts than Heat Ranger. Nothing in nature is 100% predictable. What we can do is stack the odds in you favour with warmed air.