Active frost protection

Frost protection can be achieved using latent heat. The principle is that when water freezes, it releases heat to its environment. For any substance or material, a solid state is always in a lower energy level. Moving water from a liquid state to a gas state means raising it to a higher energy level, therefore requiring the use of energy. The same goes the other way around. The transition of water from liquid to solid means reducing the energy level. The excess energy that is being released actually radiates to the environment as heat. Latent heat is how water can save your plantation or vineyard from frost.


The use of sprinklers for frost protection is one of the most well known, efficient, and reliable methods of frost protection. There are different methods, but the principles are universal.

A minimum application rate of 3.0 mm/h (0.12 in/hr) is required. This is enough to provide protection at temperatures as low as -3˚C (26.6˚F).

Another 0.5 mm/h (0.02 in/hr) is required for every additional drop of one degree celsius (1.7˚F).

For example: if the temperature is -4.0˚C (24.8˚F), the minimum application rate will be 3.5 mm/h (35 m3/hour/hectare) (0.14 in/hr, or 62 gpm/acre).

We divide sprinkler frost protection to 3 methods:

Overhead full cover

Targeted individual protection

Under-tree protection


Frost protection relies on much of the infrastructure that you install for your irrigation system, so it needs to be a consideration upfront.

For more information regarding frost protection, please see our dedicated web page for active frost protection methods.

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