Revolutionary Clinics, a Massachusetts Registered Medical Marijuana Dispensary (RMD), grows cannabis products from seed in a state-of-the-art cultivation facility in Fitchburg, MA.
Revolutionary clinics contacted Desert Aire for their dehumidification needs for tightly controlled temperatures and relative humidity needed to create the perfect conditions in its grow rooms located in a historic shoe factory in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
Through collaboration with project partners Griffin Greenhouse Supply/Controlled Environment Agriculture and FTP-Fluid Transfer Products, Desert Aire created the solution for the Revolutionary Clinics facility.
“In a closed environment you're providing everything: proven methods, proven supplies,” says Christine Champagne, cultivation operations manager for Revolutionary Clinics.
“We want to have that perfect day for everybody,” Peter Armando, sales manager/expert grower from Griffin Greenhouse Supply, Controlled Environment Agriculture.
“With a commercial greenhouse, you're basically supplementing what Mother Nature is already providing. In a closed environment, you're providing everything. You have the ability to provide the perfect day,” continues Champagne.
Armando says the biggest thing growers need to understand is that there's a process and there's time that they need to sit down and really plan out what they want to do. “On any type of project there's a lot of ways to build one of these type facilities,” explains Armando. “You want to put the technology and the equipment in that makes a grower most comfortable in his style to grow and remember the market that you're growing for.”
“Mike Miller president, FTP-Fluid Transfer Products, has supported our goals by keeping us connected to the understanding of the equipment,” continues Christine Champagne. “There's a lot of relationship there to understand what it is we're trying to accomplish and to be able to communicate that with them so that he can have that equipment do just that.
“Our involvement in this particular project was to gather all the data necessary, both in the fact that, ‘do we have a controllable space? What are the design conditions, plant count, and things of that nature, so that we could actually make sure that we had a controllable space and that we had equipment that was sized properly to maintain the conditions both the temperature and the humidity in the space,” explains Miller.
“The nice thing about Desert Aire equipment is when you get in these kinds of environments, we have a lot of factors, we've got to heat, we've got to cool and we got a dehumidifier,” says Armando. “Desert Aire has the knowledge and the ability to do that all in one unit.”
“The ability to control the sensible and latent loads independently within a space allow Desert Aire’s GrowAire product to be a one-stop shop for the perfect condition,” said Craig Burg, Vice President of Engineering at Desert Aire. “The Desert Aire grow system is a fully integrated system that controls dehumidification cooling and heating all in one package,” continues Burg.
Developing the Solution
GrowAire equipment utilizes Desert Aire’s AireGuard remote monitoring and alarming tool that allows a user to easily monitor the performance of the dehumidifier on a cloud-based database at any computer or portable device. “It helps our users by allowing us access to their system to answer questions and identify any small issues that might occur,” explains Burg.
In Revoltionary Clinics’ case there were plenty of questions that were coming from Griffin and Revolutionary Clinics and that Desert Aire was able to answer on a remote basis, using AireGuard.
“Some of the qualitative results that we've had achieved in the perfect day environment is being able to stay within a set of parameters,´ said Champagne. “When we said our temperatures and our humidity we're staying within those. In the past when I've tried to set parameters it seems like there's really big swings up and down. We've been able to fine-tune that.
Miller says one of the neat features of the GrowAire unit is that it has a full sized hot gas reheat. The hot gas reheat that is using energy that was absorbed through the evaporator coil, both the sensible and the latent after we dropped that temperature down to remove the moisture. “This is not new energy,” explains Miller. This is energy that the customer has already paid for basically in the facility and negates the need for any type of new energy or additional cost associated with providing that energy to do the reheat.”
Collaboration Creates Ongoing Success
“Griffin continues to support our success not just with technical advice, but the quality of the supplies we'll receive,” continues Champagne. When we order through Griffin, we’re ordering items that are supplied to the agriculture community on a regular basis: batch lot tested, proven methods, proven supplies.
“From the very beginning to the end of the build phase, certainly the collaboration between Griffin, Revolutionary Clinics, Fluid Transfer ongoing will be a collaboration that will continue to happen as this facility continues to operate. And one of the things we do know about these particular facilities is that they're always changing, the use of the rooms the plant count, the loads in the space and Desert Aire and Fluid Transfer is going to be here and there with Revolutionary Clinics for as long as we need to be.”
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