Motivair Cool News

July 19th, 2021

Cannabis Cultivation: How Our Chillers Help Grow Business

In an industry worth billions and continuing to be medically and recreationally legalized across North America, the cannabis industry is on the rise right now with an average annual growth of 21%.
Cannabis is not just a product, but a scientific process where precise climate control ensures the required yield feeding industry grow, profits, and medical innovation.

To maintain optimum growing conditions, resilient industry-leading heating and cooling technology is needed. This allows for multiple rooms within the facility to maintain specific space temperature and humidity levels.

Cannabis is a $61 billion industry, according to a report by Business Insider, and is projected to be worth $100 billion by 2030.

As of this year, 12 states have legalized the use of recreational cannabis for adults over 21: California, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Colorado, Nevada, Vermont, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Arizona (plus the District of Columbia).

In the 2020 election, legalization efforts scored several big wins as South Dakota legalized medical and recreational marijuana and Mississippi legalized medical marijuana.
Now, 34 states have now made medical cannabis legal: Hawaii, Montana, Rhode Island, New Mexico, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, North Dakota, Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Missouri. And the 12 states that also have recreational marijuana: California, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Colorado, Nevada, Vermont, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, Arizona, and the District of Columbia.

The No. 1 challenge for cannabis cultivators is dehumidification. What impacts air’s ability to hold moisture is its temperature. The warmer the air the more moisture it can hold which is why tight temperature control is critical to controlling humidity.

The simplified process to remove moisture from the air (dehumidify) involves bringing the warm humid air across a coil that chilled water or glycol is flowing through.

This cools down the air and wrings the moisture out of the air. The same air then needs to be brought back up to the design target temperature. To do this the air passes over a reheat coil in which hot water or glycol is passing through, and in turn warming the air back up to the ideal temperature.

Relative humidity within the grow rooms is dynamic and the requirements change throughout the life cycle of the plants. These stages go from seedling to vegetation followed by flowering and late flowering periods.

The optimum humidity gradually decreases from roughly 70% in the seedling phase down to between 30-45% in the flowering stages (conditions will vary depending on client’s individual product). Variables that impact moisture in the air are the physical size of the room, growing method, number of plants and the amount of water being fed to the crop. Without the proper technology for tight temperature and humidity control, you risk the loss of crop yield. High humidity causes the plants to intake less carbon dioxide from the surrounding environment which can lead to mold growth and flower and root rot. If the air is too dry the plants will lose more water than they can re-gain through their roots.

Proper humidity control allows the plants to respire and flourish quickly. Maintaining optimum conditions improves crop quality while reducing waste; netting more yield and inevitably profit to the client’s bottom line.

LEARN MORE: Our Thermal Management technology

The right tool for such a venture is a Heat Recovery Chiller.

The units are designed to optimize overall chiller efficiency by simultaneously producing chilled water and hot water.

Capacities from 60-500 available in Air-Cooled and Water-Cooled models. These are ideal for cannabis grow operations, as they have:

  • Available Heat Recovery of more than 75% heat recovery from the process
  • Variable heat recovery from 0-100% of design without affecting chiller operation
  • Variable hot water temperature up to 130F

Connect with your local Motivair product specialist today.