This design guide by Desert Aire will summarize the major components and options to consider when using chilled water as the source for cooling and dehumidification in heating ventilation air conditioning and dehumidification (HVACD) CEA applications. There are many important design considerations that will have a significant impact on the size, capital cost, and operational cost of the system. An example will provide an overview of these impacts.
The two main solution types for integrated environmental control in CEA are direct expansion (DX) cooling and chilled water systems. In either option, there is a shared responsibility between the cultivator and the mechanical engineer to assess the facilities’ overall requirements and decide which technology best fits the needs. This guide provides a high-level overview to ensure the key points are discussed.
DX systems use a refrigerant as the energy transfer medium vs. the cold water of a chiller system. DX systems are designed for each room and are independent of the other rooms which often shifts the design complexity to the equipment manufacturer. Chillers cause more of the design responsibility to shift to a consulting engineer, but for those engineers that are experienced and/or diligent, this is not a major issue. Chiller system design is practiced by many engineers.
For nearly a decade Desert Aire has manufactured thousands of purpose-designed indoor cultivation HVACD units with a focus on optimizing energy efficiency, a high level of environmental control and overall system reliability. It all starts with a deep understanding of the air-conditioning and dehumidification loads within a grow room. When these loads are understood they can be efficiently and tightly managed with purpose-designed equipment.
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