Dynamic distribution of thermal effects of an oscillating frost protective fan in a tea field

Kensuke Kimura, Daisuke Yasutake, Kentaro Nakazono, Masaharu Kitano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Wind machines are one of the most effective and prevalent methods of frost protection for crops. However, their physical and physiological effectiveness should be re-examined because climate change from global warming can reduce the cold tolerance of crops, leading to higher risk of frost damage. Here, we experimentally elucidate thermal effects of a wind machine by spatiotemporal analysis of leaf heat balance, with the aid of a new method facilitating continuous and multipoint evaluation of leaf boundary layer conductance (GA). GA regulates convective heat exchange between leaves and ambient air. This analysis was performed in a tea field with a frost protective fan (oscillating wind machine), thereby visualising the spatiotemporal distribution of thermal effects from the oscillating fan. Those effects showed a dynamically varying distribution in space and time, as shown in the supplementary animation, under strong influences of both changes in GA and air-to-leaf temperature difference. The change in GA was synchronised with airflow from the oscillating fan onto leaves. However, the change in air-to-leaf temperature difference was complicated, with delay in transient thermal responses of leaves and ambient air. These spatiotemporal characteristics of thermal effects varied substantially with field location, owing to different intervals and durations of airflow from the oscillating fan. Consequently, remarkable non-uniformities in thermal effects appeared across the field, increasing potential risk of frost damage. These results indicate that the effectiveness of the fan still has room for improvement by considering the spatiotemporal characteristics of thermal effects reported herein, toward more reliable frost protection under global warming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-109
Number of pages12
JournalBiosystems Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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