Keying in on Proper Humidity for Cannabis Growing
Colorado cannabis breeder Rare Dankness recently gutted a warehouse facility for a $10 million renovation, which now has 54,000 square feet for growing and operations. Part of the upgrade, along with adding a second floor that doubled the space from its initial 27,000 square feet, was an upgrade of the HVAC system from the traditional RTU style unit with ducting to a 500-ton chiller unit with Delta T Fan Coils and system design.
A Cleaner Operation
“Traditionally it has been RTU style units that have ducting with return air in every room, but you risk cross-contamination from multiple rooms. The way the Delta T systems work is we don’t use any ducting,” explains grower Scott Reach. “Each room is sealed.”
Instead, they use the chiller system with DeltaCool™ Fan Coils connected to main centralized pipes for the whole building. Chilled water is circulated through a loop piping system, and a circulator pump forces the water through a heat exchanger. A fan draws warm air out and cools it as it passes over the cold coils. It’s controlled with a Priva environmental control system, so Scott knows what the conditions inside the growing space look like at all times.
The system allows growers like Scott to maintain a tighter control on humidity, which is such an important factor in cannabis growing. They use many methods to ensure crops aren’t contaminated, including air filtration, clothing changes and showers, and the chillers work to keep the perfect humidity while keeping a clean growing area.
“We do all these things to the environment so we don’t have to deal with the pesticides and diseases that other people are running into,” Scott adds. Humidity is key to cannabis crops because too much can contribute to gray mold, botrytis, powdery mildew and other diseases. “We can’t give them a flower that has mold or mildew in it. It’s very important for the cannabis growers to deal with humidity efficiently.”
Saving Space and Easy Maintenance
The chiller system has overhead suspension points that are ideal for conserving space and they have the heat element right on the fan coils, which cool the room by introducing more dry air and pulling extra water out of the air. Another plus about the chiller system is how quiet it is compared to typical RTU systems. “Finally, even when it’s a complex machine, it’s fairly simple. We started talking about maintenance and cleaning,” Scott adds. “We got feedback from other companies using Delta T. We couldn’t find anybody who had a bad thing to say.”
These kinds of sophisticated growing operations are where Scott sees the cannabis industry going. He’s traveled the world to look at growing operations of all sizes (“from teeny tiny, 10-lights to multi-acre greenhouses”) in an effort to help create the best possible growing conditions for medical and recreational cannabis at the new facility in Denver. “This facility we’re building in Colorado is the culmination of everything right and wrong that I saw,” he says of his observations at other growing operations. “The way I’ve seen the industry moving in the last three years, the future is definitely going to be multi-acre, extremely sophisticated greenhouses.”
Contact Delta T Solutions for details on how one of our performance-engineered heating, cooling or irrigation systems will meet your needs. Call 800-552-5058 or email email@example.com.
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