14 Aug 2017

Keeping it Dry and Cool for an Indoor Grow Facility

Aggreko dehumidifier in a cultivation grow facility
 

Trouble with indoor cultivation

 Growing plants indoors is difficult.  When you’re trying to grow plants indoors – on a warehouse sized scale – the challenges are nearly endless.  Faced with humidity and temperature issues throughout their facility, an indoor cultivation operation tried to resolve their issues in several ways. In the end, the plants were continually developing fungus, mold and other spores, which prevented the plants from being harvested and sold.  The loss of product was too much to withstand, with a moisture and mold problem that needed fixing. Ultimately, the grower turned to Aggreko for help in delivering specific humidity and temperature levels to help all of the plants grow.

Managing the climate indoors

If growing plants indoors is difficult, how do you properly size temporary climate control equipment, with specific airflow rates and temperatures? Actually, you don’t have to do that, Aggreko will.  For this project, our team walked the site to understand the demands, considering all the variables, such as existing climate control equipment, entry points, available power, ambient temperatures, and more.  Because of the size of the facility, with fans and other equipment present, it was determined that if we could just ‘help them’ on a larger scale, existing equipment would operate more efficiently.

Delivering the ideal climate

Delivering specific humidity and temperatures at periodic times was the goal.  By using temporary climate control equipment we could remove specific amounts of moisture from the space, allowing their permanent system to operate more efficiently, providing a better growing climate and preventing any unwanted fungus. After sizing and configuring the airflow throughout the space, the recommendation was made. 

A 10,000cfm desiccant dehumidifier and a 30ton industrial air-conditioner would be used to condition the entire space. Utilizing a rental amp panel, these rental climate control units operated off the existing power at the facility. The configuration was complete, with the plan to have the rental desiccant dehumidifier (DH) pull air from the space, sending it through the DH unit, removing moisture, then the processed dry air would enter the air conditioning (AC) unit, lowering the dry air temperature before being sent back to the grow room.  With plants sensitive to temperature, as well as moisture, any entering air required a predetermined temperature range.  

Helping the climate when needed

With humidity and temperature problems happening at certain times in the grow area, the DH and AC units were controlled by a humidistat that triggered an electronic alert when conditions reached a certain point.  When that alert happened, the dehumidifier and AC unit would start up and begin the cycle of pulling air, drying and cooling, and then sending the air back inside.  When the interior space reached the proper conditions that the grower wanted, the machines would sit idle, not drawing from the house power, which was a nice savings on the utilities.

Equipment rental makes growing easy

While this whole operation sounds involved and challenging, our goal is to make the process easy for the customer.  Aggreko visited the site and collaborated with the grower to develop the system.  We handled nearly every aspect of the operation, only asking the customer to make a few changes, such as adding entry points on the building to pull and deliver air. When it came to delivery and set up, Aggreko arranged everything, having a trailer delivered that contained the dehumidifier, air conditioner, amp panel and cables.  We ran all of the cable and set up all power components. For the DH and AC, we configured the temporary duct to the building, duct from unit to unit and from the AC to the building. 

Plants are growing and the climate is right

The plants are growing and harvested products show no signs of fungus since the rental equipment was installed.  For a monthly rental fee, rather than a massive capital outlay, a temporary system solved the issues.  With the rental equipment sitting in the back of the building, up front, there is fresh, healthy produce.

Can we help you?

With over 60 offices across North America, chances are, Aggreko is located near you. If you are a grower or interior cultivation facility on the East Coast, in Massachusetts, Virginia or North Carolina, we have offices located nearby to help.  On the west coast, with greenhouses in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Colorado, we can assist.  Wherever you’re located, Aggreko has offices across North America and can help you solve any humidity or temperature control issues.  Please contact us to see how we can help you.