“With our configurable iHP system, we are disruptive to the LED driver market,” says Joe Voyles, vice president of marketing at Advanced Energy. The company specializes in precision power conversion, measurement and control solutions applicable to numerous industries. Over the past three years, Advanced Energy has implemented its remote DC Power systems to the indoor farming industry with over 10 megawatts of install base into indoor farming facilities.
Driverless LED solutions
While the indoor farming industry relies predominantly on driver-based LED lighting, Advanced Energy has tackled the LED driver-associated heat loads through its configurable Intelligent High-Power System (iHP). The iHP system allows driverless power and control of LED lighting so that the power conversion-associated heat load is produced outside of the cultivation area, where it can either be vented to the outdoors or recirculated in the growing area when heating is required.
“Currently, indoor farmers are purchasing their LED grow lights with the LED drivers installed in the light fixtures. They do this because this is the current technology that has been deployed for several years. What they don’t realize about this approach is that the LED drivers installed in every light fixture inside their grow area are adding additional heat, cost more for installation and lighting control, increasing their CAPEX and OPEX send and reducing their overall profitability. Over the last several years, we have worked to develop an indoor farming install base utilizing our proven DC remote power and LED lighting control system, which farmers are using to realize the cost savings underscored above,” explains Joe.
The iHP series can drive any LED luminaire and is highly flexible with respect to scalability, input, current and voltage source control, dimmability and light scheduling. Advanced Energy works diligently with lighting companies to design customized, driverless horticultural lighting. In eliminating drivers, Advanced Energy shifted towards high-voltage DC buses and works with several LED OEM’s to develop full-spectrum, driverless LED lighting solutions.
Front of iHP DC power supply
Artesyn Intelligent Transfer Switch (iTS™)
In 2020, Advanced Energy introduced its Intelligent Transfer Switch, which was designed for any application where power can be switched to different loads during a 24-hour period. With indoor farming relying solely on horticultural lighting, growers can schedule photoperiods at any point of the day and can thus benefit from the iTS, which allows them to easily switch power between different grow rooms with photoperiods of <12 hours and achieve 100% utilization of power. The iTS is a modular, eight-channel switch designed for use with iHP and LCM4000 families.
“Plants need a dark period and using Advanced Energy’s Artesyn Intelligent Transfer Switch, you can send power to a given grow area at one point of the day then use the same power system for another grow room. When you use LED drivers instead, they just sit in the dark when the lights are off so you’re not using that power that you’ve connected,” explains Joe.
iHP Intelligent transfer switch
According to Joe, switching the power supply between grow rooms improves energy use efficiency to reduce operating costs, while also reducing capital expenditures by removing redundancies from the electrical system. Advanced Energy also offers a digital control software, iHLC, to effortlessly manage the power supply between the two power zones.
Advanced Energy is further developing its product offering to providing predictive analytics for energy use in indoor farms. The company also plans to incorporate artificial intelligence in the future.