In this section you can find strong economic features to evaluate the efficiency of different frost protection methods. There is also specific data about the SIS system and FPC costumers database that could help to evaluate your own costs and benefits of installing a SIS system solution.

The section is organized in four parts:

- SIS characteristics.
- A comparison between different methods of frost protection.
- Some summarized data from our customers.
- An example of the aplication of the SIS system.



SIS Models, covered area and technical specifications.

 SIS Model

Covered Area (has)

Motorization type

Technical Specifications

M 2.5



SIS M 2.5

M 3.5



SIS M 3.5

M 15



SIS M 15

M 15


Tractor TPO

SIS M 15

M 25


Tractor TPO

SIS M 25



1) The covered area per machine is only indicative. The actual coverage area per machine on each particular project depends heavily on the orchard/vineyard topography and the severity of the observed frost damage. The final covered area is determined by the Frost Control Study (FCS)which is conducted by FPC for each SIS installation in the world. The FCS determines the number, model and specific location of the SIS to be installed.
2) M2.5 and M3.5 are portable. M15 and M25 models need a concrete base (price not included). Detailed plans of the concrete base are provided with SIS. Approximated price of a concrete base for M15 or M25 in Uruguay is 1000 USD. 
3) M2.5, M3.5 y M15 can be automated very easily.
4) The tractor needed to power a M25 model needs to have 55hp and a velocity of 540 rpm at PTO.




1. Investment and operating costs

The investment and operating costs per hectare are much lower than the costs for traditional systems.

It took a period of three years of repayment of the initial investment and considered 20 episodes of frost per year for a period of 6 hours each, for purposes of comparison.

The annual cost per hectare compared protected, corresponds to the amortization period (three years).

The graph below shows the relationship between investment and annual costs per hectare operation of different technologies. (1)


(1) Data on capital and operating costs of the technologies of frost protection are taken from CTIFL (, "Gel de printemps, protection des Verges" CTIFL, 1998, Chapter 5 ("différents comparaison des Systemes ") and Robert Evans," the Art of frost protection grapevines from low temperature injury ", Proceedings of the 50th Anniversary Meeting ASEV, Seattle, Washington 

                                                                              TECHNICAL ASPECTS 1

 2. Operating costs

The following graphic shows the comparison only between operating costs of different technologies. For the purpose of the comparison is considered 20 episodes of frost per year for a period of six hours each.

                                                                         TECHNICAL ASPECTS 2


 Here are some real examples of the benefits of the SIS System (in US dollars): 

                                      TECHNICAL ASPECTS 3


It should be stressed that SIS system reduction in the investment cost is proportional to the size of the damaged area observed in a given orchard. This denotes SIS system ability to reduce cost per ha. as the protected area increases. This is explained by the fact that larger damaged areas can be protected with bigger and more efficient units leading to lower investment cost per ha.     

With more than ten years of experience and field data, this characteristic can be easily demonstrated in a graph.  We use our USA client´s database and some representative clients from other countries to empirically see how the overall investment cost per ha. diminishes with the increment in the damaged area:

                                           TECHNICAL ASPECTS 4


A  SIS M25 machine can protect a 15 ha. orchard (empowered with a 50 HP tractor).

The cost of installing this machine is U$ 27.360 (not including tractor cost).

Estimating 80% of frost damage every 5 years in the orchard, with a producer price of U$ 582  per ton (the average price for California’s wine grapes in 2005 according to the U.S. National Agricultural Statistical Service -NASS-USDA-), with a 12 MT yield per ha., these figures would lead to an annual average benefit due to the SIS operation of:

0.8 (damage)*0.2(probability of a frost damage season, 1 each five years)*582 (price, per MT)*12 (yield, MTper ha.)*15 (orchard’s area, ha) = U$ 16.762

Considering one night of frost of 6 hours of duration each five years, an annualized investment cost of U$ 2.736 (ten years base for amortization and with the fixed and variable costs used in table 1), this leads to a U$ 2.890 SIS system annual cost and that gives a U$ 13.872 annualized average net revenue in any year of the installation.

On the average, most of the investment payback can be achieved in the very first year of installation.