Posted at 11:00 • 4 Apr • Brian Gandy • Humidity and LED
LED and Humidity
Everyone who is looking at LED has heard about the up to 50 percent reduction in overall power draw including HVAC, but without all that extra heat from HPS, is your HVAC going to be enough to manage the humidity?
Growing with LED requires a few changes to technique. The biggest is dialing the environment with out all that extra heat from HID. LEDs put out little to none infrared and don't warm the canopy or room as much. The short solution is, "run your room warmer".
Since LEDs put off less heat in general, relying on your HVAC to pull excess moisture out of the air is sometimes not an option. This is a good thing. If growing in a commercial setup, full control of environment is key to success.
I caught up with Santo Bonelli from Quest Dehumidifiers a few weeks ago at Cannacon in Oklahoma city. He is an avid DIY LED enthusiast and we nerded out on the phone this week about managing moisture in LED conversions and new construction.
Make the Switch, Mind Your Moisture
Conversation with Quest Dehumidifiers
I have been in product research and development so long for LED Horticulture fixtures, that I typically have not been concerned with specifying other equipment. Now that we are implementing LED on a commercial scale at SAGE, one of the first recommendations after LED itself, is updating the environmental controls.
The rule of thumb for Quest and most Dehu specification is based on irrigation protocol. Water in = Water out. This and the assumption that on average about 20% of an HVAC system’s total load is dedicated to dehumidification are ballpark figures to start a spec. Due to the limited dehumidification capacity from the HVAC system and very little to no HVAC dehumidification during lights off Quest recommends that dehumidifiers be the primary method of removal. This is a good rule because as environmental parameters fluctuate, equipment has to work harder and may not perform up to reported specification and either run inefficiently or underperform leaving crops subject to all that comes with a poor grip on humidity. Botrytis, Powdery Mildew and many pests prefer moist environments or even blow up with just spikes in humidity.
Running rooms at warmer temps with LED (~84 degrees F) allows dehumidification equipment to run at its peak level. This plays nice with HVAC and allows it to do a better job as well. All of this combined results in an operation that is RH spike free, efficient and less taxing on hardware which improves longevity.
Water in = Water Out
Buy a Quest, Buy the Team
Santo Bonelli- Quest Climate Rep for PNW and Mountain Regions
Quest specifies its units at a more conservative range (AHAM ratings) to make sure that was is on the box, is how their units will perform. It is not uncommon in any industry to overrate specs to shine on paper, but often fall short on execution. We are focused on reliability and longevity here at SAGE, so that notion is much appreciated and we are happy to recommend Quest.
Santo says there are 3 engineers on staff, one in Canada and 2 in the states, to help make sure your spec is super tight. LED specification for dehumidification, like lighting application is geared toward a tuned system. Precision performance.
**At the time of publishing, SAGE has no formal ties to Quest. We are just recognizing a solid program and will be working on spec's in the future to make sure our clients get the best solutions for success.
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