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Energy Use/Cost Management in Indoor Cultivation

Hi all!

Hoping to start a broad topic on energy efficiency and cost savings strategies for indoor grows. Some ice breakers to get things rolling:

Do you dread getting your electricity bill every month!?! Do you understand how the charges are constructed?

Have you used energy saving devices/methods? What types and have you realized cost savings? LEDs, Variable frequency drive Hvac, etc.

What about alternative power sources? Solar, combined heat & power, etc.

How much do you spend monthly on electricity bills for what size facility?

We are Croptimize, a software/data analytics company focusing on energy economic optimization for indoor cultivation. Our analysis is unique to each grow and facilitates a simple, measurable path to cost savings through operational adjustments, demand management, then exploring supply options.

Happy to connect with the growers network and looking forward to collaborating with you all!

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I started a vertical cultivation company after having limited electric infrastructure in place at my cultivation facility in Southern California to due with the electric constraints. We only had 1,200 amps for a 10,000 square foot canopy / manufacturing facility and needed a way to reduce the electric load. The design of the system is also energy reducing. We are also installing solar as a supplemental power source. We would love to learn more about what you guys do offline if your available for a call in next week.

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Dehumidification and cooling cannot be served effectively with a single unit that cools to dehumidify, while simultaneously heats to avoid over-cooling. Serving the needs of both functions effectively and efficiently, requires a “decoupling” strategy.

• A DEHUMIDIFIER MAY DELIVER SOME COOLING BUT IT IS NOT AN EFFICIENT AIR CONDITIONER
• AN AIR CONDITIONER MAY REMOVE SOME MOISTURE BUT IT IS NOT AN EFFICIENT DEHUMIDIFIER

Separating cooling and dehumidification results in optimal control over temperature and humidity.

Scientists at the University of California, Davis found our advanced dehumidification and water recovery technology to deliver 30 to 65% energy savings for grow house dehumidification and cooling, and confirmed its reuse of 100 percent of the water it removes from the air to water plants. UC Davis Study

For large grows, our strategy is to use wrap-around-plate dehumidification for the dehumidification load. Cooling and heating coils are added to the common air-stream to control temperature. A central chiller with glycol charge is used to deliver 32f water to each dehumidifier and cooling coil. Heating is usually hot water but could also be electric.
We urge the grower to use the VPD chart to determine operating conditions. Vapor Pressure Deficit Chart

Learn more at CannabisClimateSolutions.com

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@dominick.volpini – thanks for sharing. Definitely would love to learn more about the details of your setup and how it’s been working out for you. Contact info sent in PM.

@msptechnology – great info. We’ve been seeing a lot of great dehu tech recently - decoupling makes a lot of sense. The VPD chart is intriguing-- can you offer any feedback from growers RE their comfort with such a wide range in temp & RH options to accomplish “optimal” VPD?

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Dominick, Sorry, the correct link for the webinar is: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form?EQBCT=fa01b8377f3347bf8b0a36d21ffb6af1

Also, we can assure you our dehumidification equipment will use 1/2 the electric power of traditional alternatives. If you are interested, for a free analysis, fill out and send back our Cultivation Room Input Form: https://msptechnology.sharefile.com/d-se92b44b4536411ba

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Hello, I just joined the board. My name is Brian Welch I represent 2 energy companies in Maryland. They have complimentary services. One does energy supply, the ther does efficiency and helps customers take advantage of how the regulations are set up. It’s very late, but i will be in touch tomorrow.

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Never heard of a grow using air conditioning to control humidity, always separate dehumidifiers. Most contemporary ones do not have ion leeching elements and thus, should have 0 ppm.

Best practice is to run collected dehui water through a UV filter on the way to the reservoir to prevent potential contamination.

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Joe,

Conventional dehumidifiers are nothing more than air conditioners with reheat to avoid over cooling. They have no precooling which is the big Energy saver.

Wrap around dehumidification technologies are the way to go.

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I know @devin.cooley is with www.suntracusa.com and they do amazing energy savings with HVAC systems.

Hey @CROPTIMIZE …have you seen light method trends in regards to savings? Meaning, do you have a light strategy recommendation for a grower based on energy saving data? I assume transitioning from MH, CFL, HPS, etc…to an LED would reduce costs?

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Thanks for pointing that out. Sounds like a great advantage!

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Hi Brian,

I’d love to connect with you about the companies you’re working with in Maryland. I work with Resource Innovation Institute and we are developing standards around energy efficiency. Feel free to check out our website and new tool: the Cannabis PowerScore.

-Katie Stone
Outreach Coordinator

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Thank you for gtting in touch with me. As of this time, we wre not working with any cannabis farms. in Maryland. We have, of course, worked with many customers other than cannabis farms. The product that we make that improves efficiency is a building assesoment software. Other than that, we get better rates for farms. We also do solar energy.

Our software is excellent to ensure that any piece of electrical equipment is operating at 100% efficiency. As equipment ages, it needs maintenance, and it uses more energy. That’s one of our chief selling points. I’m not sure about all the equipment that is used, but one of the primary purposes we use our software for is benchmarking throughout an entire organization. If you have similar equipment in all of these farms, It would enable you to be able to tell people which products are the most efficient, we could tell over time when they started to use more power, so you could come out with standards of when to replace equipment, etc.

This isn’t my area of expertise. I am copying our company’s owner (and lead engineer) on this. Can you give me a phone number where he might reach you?

Sincerely,

Brian Welch
Newr Energy
[email protected]
301-801-6091

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Hello Katie. I think I may be able to help you some. When can we talk?

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Hi Brian,

My apologies for delayed communication, we’ve been busy launching the Cannabis PowerScore at the Cannabis Collaborative Conference in Oregon this week. I’m sending you an email now :slight_smile:

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Hey Katie,

Trying to reach you. When Thursday?

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Carbon scrubbers pull quite a bit of energy to function properly where an Agriair machine pulls only between 0.2-1.2 Amps! There are even organizations giving energy credits for switching to our machines.

By using Agriair equipment, you can destroy odors instead of trapping them all while actively seeking out contaminants, VOCs, and more! Meaning not only are you dismantling the structure of an odor but also proactively helping to control potential damage to your crops.

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Hey April,

I have a question for you! What’s the minimum square footage the smallest Agriair equipment can cater to for this type of application? I’d be curious to know what the recommended equipment would be (for the smallest area) and then what a comparable setup using carbon scrubbers and extraction fans would be in terms of operational cost? I have some pretty heavy extraction fans I even use for some of my home growing and I have a pretty good idea of what they can pull from the wall (I use a Kill-a-Watt device to measure my electrical use.)

As we hear more stories of production costs rising and being an influence on the profit margin for cultivators/facilities, I do think showing people where cost savings can be had is a great step in the right direction (and if the replacement product is comparable or even does a better job, that’s a win-win!)

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Great question Jordan! Currently we have various units that cover 3,000-10,000 and 5,000-20,000 cubic feet, depending on the room type, and how many plants are flowering. The high end would be to cover something like a large anti-room so generally speaking, in an active flowering room we would recommend our highest output to cover about 12,000-14,000 cubic feet. Curently our Agriair 1000 series uses only between 1.3-1.7amps and our PG units use about 0.2-0.4 amps.

We are currently wrapping up development of a unit to cover more of a home-grow or smaller room size, about 2,000 cubic feet, knowing that enthusiast and start-ups alike would greatly benefit from our offerings. I will be sure to keep everyone posted once we have final approval.

Cheers!

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Hi Croptimize - hoping to connect.

Our energy consulting firm is the second fastest growing company in the state of RI and we serve MA and the rest of the northeast in the deregulated states. We provide significant cost avoidance strategies for the energy procurement of over 2000 clients at no extra cost - including TF Green Airport, General Dynamics/Electric Boat, numerous municipalities, housing authorities, hotel groups, food and restaurant chains, retail chains, colleges, regional manufacturers, processing plants, maritime businesses, senior care facilities, medical centers and cannabis facilities. We also work directly with RI Lt. Governor Daniel McKee on non-profit energy initiatives and partner with leading CPAs, attorneys and LED providers specializing in cannabis.

I would like to connect with you to learn about your software and explore how we can work together. We have some strategies designed specifically for cannabis cultivators - see attachedNETA_Success_Story_OnePage.pdf (461.1 KB)
case study for one of the top growers in MA, NETA.

Regards,

Kent Jordan
Vice President of Sales
Best Practice Energy
Wakefield, RI
PH: 401-594-2312
Email: [email protected]

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Hey Kent,

I’m always excited to see others who share my passion for energy efficiency, especially one with an appreciation for the cannabis industry.

My company, Trym, builds energy management solutions specifically for commercial cannabis cultivators. I had a look at your site and it looks like you’re doing some exciting things. It would be great to chat sometime to discuss opportunities for collaboration.

Looking forward to hearing back from you.
Best,
Matt

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