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An inexpensive portable freezer for in situ freezing in the field

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A portable freezer was developed to apply frost to branches of large trees to study their growth and recuperation after frost application under natural conditions. The freezer measures 37.5 × 63.5 × 31.5 cm and weighs approximately 3 kg. It consists of two compartments, a freezing compartment and a dry ice compartment. The portable freezer provides a ramp-and-soak freezing pattern using a programmable controller. The nonfreezing temperature plateaus can be set from 1 to 6°C and maintained for 0 to 12 h. The cooling and warming rates can be programmed from 1 to 12°C·h–1. Test temperatures can be maintained for a period of time ranging from 0 to 12 h at set temperatures. Freezers were tested without samples under controlled conditions at ambient temperatures of 0, –5, –10, 5, 15, 20, and 25°C. Under these conditions, the cooling and warming rates showed a deviation of less than ±1°C·h–1 at a set rate of 2°C·h–1. The freezer provides test temperatures as low as –38°C and –47°C at ambient temperatures of 20 and –10°C, respectively. Freezers were also tested under field conditions on attached branches in mature white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) trees under hardening conditions.

Un congélateur portatif a été mis au point pour geler les extrémités de branches d'arbres matures afin d'étudier leur croissance et leur récupération après avoir été soumises au gel sous des conditions naturelles. Le congélateur mesure 37,5 × 63,5 × 31,5 cm et pèse environ 3 kg. Il est constitué de deux compartiments, un compartiment servant de chambre de congélation et un second contenant de la glace sèche. Le congélateur portatif produit un patron de congélation composé de pentes et de plateaux gérés par un contrôleur programmable. Les plateaux maintenus à des températures au-dessus de 0°C peuvent être fixés entre 1 et 6 °C pour des périodes variant entre 0 et 12 h. Les taux de refroidissement et de réchauffement peuvent être programmés entre 1 et 12 °C·h–1. Les températures testées peuvent être maintenues stables pour des périodes variant entre 0 et 12 h. Le congélateur a été testé sans échantillon à des températures ambiantes de 0, –5, –10, 5, 15, 20 et 25 °C. Dans ces conditions, les taux de refroidissement et de réchauffement se sont maintenus à moins de ±1 °C·h–1 du taux fixé à 2 °C·h–1. Le congélateur peut tester des températures de congélation aussi basses que –38 °C et –47 °C à des températures ambiantes de 20 °C et de –10 °C, respectivement. Le congélateur a aussi été testé en conditions naturelles sur des branches d'épinette blanche (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) pendant la période d'endurcissement.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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