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Old 08-29-2020, 12:32 AM   #1
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It pays to know your landlord...


Went to look at a grow facility project that my tenants are partners in. They didn't know I was an HVAC guy until they told me their tale of woe. They hadn't had much success with their (out of town) mechanical contractor. Apparently he skipped town with about half of the project money. He was last seen driving a new truck. My tenants are pretty sure they will find him soon as they have leads.

Anyway, the grow facility received 1 - 25 ton unit set on the ground with the worst duct work I've seen in quite awhile. 10,000 CFM high static cooling only unit with "patched" together (screws, tape, mastic) supply duct roughly 16x16 28 gauge going up the outside of the building and into the facility. Note, no insulation either. It connects to a 40' run of 16" spiral duct with 8 - 14" spiral run outs with residential grade 14" round diffusers. The velocity is so high that the first 2 run outs suck in air. The return duct is huge and goes straight into the building down low. Same patched together duct work. TESP pushing 2" wc, basically off the blower performance chart. The "idiot contractor" ordered a 208 volt 3 phase unit and had to pay to have a transformer installed for the unit because the building is 460 volt 3 phase with 277 volt lighting.

I've done a preliminary load calc with enough flexibility to meet the facilities extreme high/low requirements. I'm waiting for info on how much water they use so I can figure out their (de)humidification needs. I think the guy was going to put in one more unit (50 total tons) as the same duct design is roughed in up high in the building. He's about 15 or so tons low, the idiot could have looked at the lighting load 204KW (54 tons) and figured that out.

It pays to know your landlord...-bud2.png

Putting a proposal together to install the additional 50 tons, but will only install one unit with ducting for now so that the crime scene evidence is undisturbed. Plan to go with 1-30" spiral duct supply (high velocity) connected to a Ruskin 6 way industrial diffuser, need the higher velocity to achieve the proper air throw distance. It's good for the plants to wave around in the breeze, makes for stronger stalks. The diffuser weighs about 200 lbs.

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I keep telling everyone that I don't want/need to do larger jobs, but this one looks like fun(?). I'll price it accordingly and kick myself in the ass and buy new sun glasses (it's bright in there) if I get it. If you look at the very back of the pic below you can see where I removed the 14" diffusers and rotated the elbows so the air blows a bit more horizontally. Should have taken pics of the unit ducting but didn't think to do it at the time. BTW they pay 20K a month for rent and about 12K per month for the electric bill. There is twice the space of this room in the building for future growth (pun intended). No, I don't own the building.


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Old 08-29-2020, 04:45 AM   #2
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


Hmmm, no latent load?
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:06 AM   #3
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


What indoor temperature are they going for? Are the plants very fussy about temperature? Couldn't the same thing be mostly accomplished with just exhaust fans and fresh air?

I really don't know anything about this stuff, just curious.
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:08 AM   #4
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


Nanitorium equipment is great for grow rooms, the environment they are capable of producing is very similar to what the equipment was originally designed for. A lot of manufacturers are now advertising in the grow industry because of that.
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:11 AM   #5
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


Quote:
Originally Posted by bfrabel View Post
What indoor temperature are they going for? Are the plants very fussy about temperature? Couldn't the same thing be mostly accomplished with just exhaust fans and fresh air?

I really don't know anything about this stuff, just curious.
No, you have to monitor temperature closely. Low to mid 70s and also be able to control humidity in the space. The watering/plants and activities can add a lot of moisture into the air.
Air exchange in and out of the room is important, however.
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:22 AM   #6
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Hmmm, no latent load?
The posted load calc is one of several models done. The indoor design on this one is 70F @ 60% RH and doesn't have water usage and plant transpiration factored in yet. Once factored in the latent load will definitely increase. I'm no pro on grow facility design but with a little research I'll get it dialed in. It's very dry here so latent loads are pretty minimal to begin with. They do have 5 dehumidifiers rated at 506 pints/day

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Originally Posted by bfrabel View Post
Couldn't the same thing be mostly accomplished with just exhaust fans and fresh air?
I had the same thought. There are other grow facilities nearby and cross pollination is a big concern along with a certain type of mold spores, so they keep the rooms pretty isolated.

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,,,you have to monitor temperature closely. Low to mid 70s and also be able to control humidity in the space.
What they have been doing is keeping the room at 75 F and 50% RH. They want to be able to increase/decrease temperature and humidity between night and day to increase crop yield. There are a some 10 ton heat pumps that the ducting has been routed to this space so they are not struggling like they were in July and early August.

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A lot of manufacturers are now advertising in the grow industry because of that.
I didn't know this until I called Carrier. We spoke about their grow facility units. They will send me info next week so I can get myself up to date.

Let me know if any of you think I'm missing something important.
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:27 AM   #7
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


Nanitorium equipment, not generic equipment from Carrier.
PoolPak, Dectron, Seresco.

https://serescodehumidifiers.com/

https://www.poolpak.com/index.php/se...al-environment

https://dectron.com/
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:49 AM   #8
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


The natatorium equipment would work very well except for the introduction of outdoor air required for proper operation. As said, I'm no expert but they really want to minimize outdoor air. I'll see what the Carrier unit can do and go from there. Keep the ideas coming, it's all good input.
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:53 AM   #9
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


Outdoor air is adjustable, it differs customer to customer and site to site.
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Old 08-29-2020, 04:25 PM   #10
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


The energy use is crazy - can't have mostly skylights and take advantage of natural light when possible?

I guess you can't use outdoor air to cool in winter due to humidity requirements and concern about contaminates.
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Old 08-29-2020, 05:48 PM   #11
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


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The energy use is crazy - can't have mostly skylights and take advantage of natural light when possible?

I guess you can't use outdoor air to cool in winter due to humidity requirements and concern about contaminates.
This kind of conditioning goes above and beyond comfort cooling. It becomes a necessity. Qualified techs are expensive, parts are expensive, the equipment is expensive, and they tend to use a lot of energy.
We have a Frankenstein unit at a local cooling tower manufacturing plant. 100% outdoor air blowing into a packaged unit, that blows into a 2.5 million BTU furnace, that blows into a paint booth, then is immediately exhausted to the outdoors. Huge $$$$ of energy.
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Old 08-29-2020, 05:56 PM   #12
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


What about using hydronic coil heat exchangers for free cooling in winter? - air to air, water transfers the heat outside. reduce reliance on refrigeration without bringing in contaminates.

obviously straight air economizers are off the table.

i'm sure this could be done with far less energy but means spending more upfront.
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:09 PM   #13
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


That kind of technology does exist.
But depends on how much money the customer wants to invest upfront.
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:25 PM   #14
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


I think there are a lot of things growers could have done to have an energy efficient operation if they weren't initially cash strapped and knew they would still be around 3-4 plus years done the road. They unfortunately choose the least expensive upfront option as do many contractors and home owners and will continue to do so.


Update: They found the "idiot" (he didn't run) at home and served him papers for an appearance in court. We'll see what happens.
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:37 PM   #15
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Re: It pays to know your landlord...


With the specialty of the equipment and environment, they’d be wise to get away from side job bob and get a good relationship going with a good service company. Someone that they can call, and the guy will show up and fix their problems quickly.
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