In an ever-changing industry, the classic ways of sizing for dehumidification are coming into question. This is because grow room equipment systems such as lighting and temperature continue to evolve.
HVAC manufacturers are making claims about dehumidification. Lighting companies are developing lighting that produces less heat. Cultivators are running their rooms at lower temperatures and lower relative humidity.
There is not anything inherently wrong with developing more efficient systems in an attempt to save energy – after all, electricity is a major expense for every cultivator. However, within these efforts, we are seeing rooms that are undersized for cooling loads and dehumidification needs.
LEDs and Impact on Dehumidification
The LED lights that many cultivators are using in their facilities have solid benefits as far as energy consumption. However, this results in undersized cooling systems due to short-sighted assumptions.
Modern LEDs give off less heat than their HPS counterparts do. Many eliminate the green light from the color spectrum because leaves reflect this color. As unused colors are removed from the spectrum, the temperature around the leaves decreases. This creates a demand for higher overall temperatures in the grow rooms to facilitate proper transpiration. In these set-ups, cooling systems run for less time during the lights on period of the day thus forcing the dehumidifiers to run for longer periods.
There is always a trade off between energy savings and room sizing. A facility will save on energy use by running lights that use less power – and the cooling systems will run for shorter stretches as well. Nevertheless, in the end, the dehumidifiers are forced on during periods of the day when they normally would be dormant.
Sizing the room properly for all grow room equipment systems involved is essential for successful cultivation. Consideration of how these interconnected systems effect each other is a vital component of proper sizing.