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The ROI of hot gas reheat in vertical farming

How Hot Gas Reheat can save growers up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, with less than a 1-year payback. HVAC systems are essential in controlled environment agriculture such as vertical farming, but can represent a large capital cost. What if you could pay it back within a year thanks to Hot Gas Reheat?

What is Hot Gas Reheat?
Hot gas reheat is the use of a high-pressure, high-temperature compressor to discharge gas from the refrigeration circuit to reheat the process airstream after the air has passed through the evaporator coil. In a typical residential air conditioner, cooling is achieved by rejecting the hot gas energy from the compressor to the ambient air outside using a condenser. In standalone dehumidifiers, all of the hot gas energy is rejected back into the airstream resulting in a supply air temperature much higher than the room set point.

In more complex commercial applications requiring outside air, dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) can be used. In DOAS units; the outside air entering the HVAC equipment can be cooled down below the dew point to remove moisture for dehumidification. Then, the process air is reheated up to the target supply air temperature, typically using up to a maximum of 50% of the hot gas energy that would otherwise be rejected outdoors.

However, indoor farming can utilize much more than 50% hot gas reheat, which is one of the ingenious advantages of AGronomic IQ's 100% hot gas reheat equipment design.

How does Hot Gas Reheat apply to vertical farming?
Vertical farming is a unique HVAC application in that it requires a large amount of dehumidification relative to cooling. To achieve the required indoor conditions, the air must be cooled well below the dew point to remove enough moisture and then reheated to an appropriate supply air temperature to avoid overcooling the plants. Reheating this supply air requires a large amount of energy, which is typically accomplished by using electric, natural gas, or propane heating. However, in the case of AGronomic IQ's equipment, the waste energy is recycled through fully modulated hot gas reheat – for free!

What is the expected payback and ROI?
100% hot gas reheat options may require a slightly higher initial investment, but the added equipment cost pays for itself in the first year and continues to help the bottom line thereafter. In real applications, we've observed savings of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year!

Calculations in real-world applications are available in the free 10-page whitepaper.

For more information:
Jeff Baylis, P.Eng., Business Development and Sales Manager
+1 204.918.8880
[email protected]

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