How Does a Dry Cooler Work and Application in Grow Room
Controlling temperature is crucial when growing cannabis because it affects the growth and development of the plant. Temperature control is also essential to maintain ideal humidity levels, which helps prevent mold and mildew growth.
One solution to control the temperature of the growing chamber is to use a dry cooler. These coolers avoid the air's buildup of moisture, mold, and bacteria. They also help keep plants from forming dew, so your plants will grow healthier and more robust.
In this guide, we'll explore the inner workings of a dry cooler and explain the process step by step.
What Are Dry coolers
A dry cooler is a fluid cooler that uses air, and a dry (non-liquid substance) to produce cooling. Its purpose is to transfer heat to regulate or control temperature. It cools water or glycol to maintain a specific temperature in a room or building. These heat-transfer devices remove excess heat from the ambient air with a heat exchanger (like copper coils or a finned tube) and fans.
For cannabis growers, using dry coolers is a way to regulate the temperature and humidity of the grow room. In addition, dry coolers are commonly used in power generation, chemical processing, and HVAC systems.
Typically, dry coolers use less energy and are less intensive to maintain than traditional cooling systems.
How does a Dry Cooler Work?
Dry Coolers Design
A typical dry cooler is designed with outdoor and indoor units connected by fluid components like pumps. The outdoor unit is the dry cooler, and the indoor unit includes: compressor, heat exchanger, pipes circulating cooling fluid and evaporator.
How does a Dry Cooler Work for Cannabis Grow Rooms
Cannabis plants require specific conditions to grow and thrive. For example, they need a temperature between 65 and 75 Fahrenheit and a humidity level of around 50%. When the temperature in the growing room exceeds these ranges, the plant will become stressed, and growth will slow down or stop.
Dry coolers provide a sustainable cooling solution while eliminating the need for expensive refrigerants or additional water sources. Compared with the traditional air conditioning device, it can reduce energy costs. They also operate more efficiently, eliminating the need for expensive water-cooling systems.
Also, since it does not produce moisture, it does not add any humidity to the room, which is crucial during flowering, when humidity must be reduced.
Growers can use a dry cooler to ensure healthy plant growth by placing the unit outside the facility or on the roof at a consistent growing room temperature.
How does a Dry Cooler Work in Personal Grow Rooms
A dry cooler can be a valuable asset in a personal grow room, particularly in humid regions. Dry coolers help maintain appropriate temperature and humidity levels, prevent mold and mildew growth, and promote strong, healthy marijuana plants.
Dry coolers in cannabis grow rooms have several advantages:
- Dry coolers do not use refrigerants. Thus they are eco-friendly.
- They use less electricity than air conditioners.
- Their cost-effectiveness enables them to save energy bills over time.
- For beginners, dry coolers offer an easy-to-use and low-maintenance option.
However, you should consider the size and environment of your grow room before investing in a dry cooler. You may not need a dry cooler in a small space, and you can also maintain optimal humidity using a dehumidifier.
How does a Dry Cooler Work for Commercial Grow Rooms
Maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels in a commercial grow room can be challenging and require a more extensive cooling system than in a cannabis grow room.
Dry coolers are effective for commercial grow rooms because they cool large areas and maintain a constant temperature. Dry coolers circulate water through a network of pipes connected to multiple grow rooms or greenhouses. This ensures that the temperature is regulated throughout the commercial grow room, thus improving crop consistency and quality.
Dry coolers are more cost-effective than traditional HVAC systems because they don't require refrigerants. This is especially important for commercial grow rooms that must keep operating costs low.
Types of dry coolers
The temperature and humidity of the grow room are two of the most important factors to consider when growing cannabis. There are many types of dry coolers to choose from, each with its unique features and advantages.
There are different types of dry coolers on the market. Let's take a closer look at three of the most popular:
(1) Air-Cooled Condensers
Air-cooled condensers are the most common type of dry cooler used in commercial settings. They use a fan to blow air over condenser coils, removing heat from the liquid inside.
(2) Air-Cooled Heat Exchangers
Air-cooled heat exchangers work similarly to air-cooled condensers but use heat exchanger coils instead of condenser coils. These coils transfer heat from the liquid to the air blowing over them.
(3) Plate Heat Exchangers
Plate heat exchangers use multiple thin plates to transfer heat between fluids. They are compact and space-saving, making them ideal for smaller grow rooms.
While dry coolers are a good option for controlling temperature and humidity for marijuana growing, grow-room HVAC systems are the other choice for most grow rooms today. Altaqua's HVAC can provide all functions in one system. It controls the temperature and humidity of the plant room, allows ventilation, and filters pollen and impurities. There's with other optional features of fresh air, CO₂ Control, UV lighting control, and wifi control. Learn more here.
Choose the suitable dry cooler for your cannabis growing room
These are some of the most popular and appropriate dry coolers for growing cannabis. There are many other dry coolers for you to choose from.
But when choosing a suitable dry cooler for your cannabis grow room, you also need to consider the following factors:
The size of your dry cooler should be proportional to the size of your grow room. A cooler that is too small won't be able to handle the heat and humidity generated by your plants, while a cooler that is too big will be overkill and waste energy.
The cooling capacity of your dry cooler should be sufficient to meet your grow room's demands. You need to factor in the number of plants, type of lighting used, and ambient temperature to calculate the required cooling capacity.
Energy efficiency is an important consideration when choosing a dry cooler. You want a cooler with minimal energy to keep your grow room cool.
Some dry coolers can be noisy, which can be problematic if you live in an apartment building or have neighbors nearby. Look for a low-noise model if noise is a concern.
Tips For Cannabis Grow Room
For small cannabis grow rooms, dry coolers are an excellent option to optimize cooling efficiency and minimize maintenance costs. Depending on available space and user preferences, they can be installed inside or outside the growing area.
In addition, growers should focus on ensuring good water quality and monitoring temperature and humidity levels to achieve optimal growing conditions.
Tips For Commercial Grow Room
In commercial cannabis growing facilities, the decision to implement dry coolers should be based on the specific needs and goals of the facility. For example, large-scale grow rooms require an assessment of the grow room's size, peak cooling load, and water quality. Depending on the geographic location and climate, a combination of dry coolers, air conditioning units, and HVAC systems may be required.
Additionally, growers should consider working with an experienced HVAC professional to identify the facility's most cost-effective and energy-efficient solution.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Dry Coolers
Applications of Dry Coolers
Here we will look at the various applications of dry coolers to cannabis growers in different environments, such as cannabis grow rooms and commercial grow rooms.
The Impact of Dry Coolers on Cannabis Growers
Cannabis growers cultivate plants for personal use or small-scale production. In these situations, a dry cooler can significantly improve the product's quality.
The dry cooler functions by cooling the air in the room, reducing humidity levels, and creating an optimal environment for plant growth. Lower humidity minimizes the risk of mold and fungal growth, which can damage the plants.
Additionally, the dry cooler maintains the grow room's temperature by eliminating excess heat from lights and other cultivation equipment. This temperature regulation helps create an ideal growing environment for cannabis plants.
The Impact of Dry Coolers for Cannabis Grow Room
Commercial cannabis growers require specialized cultivation spaces that cater to the needs of cannabis plants. Several factors are considered, such as lighting, temperature, humidity, and airflow. The grow room environment should simulate the natural environment where cannabis plants thrive. Dry coolers for cannabis grow rooms provide a consistent airflow that optimizes plant growth, promoting better yields.
Dry coolers maintain the ideal temperature and humidity level in the grow room. This ensures that cannabis plants receive the conditions required for the vegetative and flowering stages. In the vegetative stage, cannabis plants require temperatures between 20-30°C, while in the flowering stage, temperatures between 18-26°C are needed. This is where the coolers regulate the temperature within the specified range.
The Impact of Dry Coolers for Commercial Grow Room
Large-scale commercial grow rooms require high-end cooling systems to meet the cooling demands of the large cultivation area. Dry coolers for commercial grow rooms are suitable in this regard. They are designed to cool significant places without affecting the humidity levels. The dry cooler blows air onto its coils, transferring the heat out of the space.
Dry coolers for commercial grow rooms are energy-efficient, and their operating costs are lower than traditional air conditioning systems. Additionally, they require minimal maintenance, ensuring that the crop remains free from contaminants.
Maintaining Dry Coolers
To guarantee optimal performance, regular maintenance of dry coolers is essential. For instance, it's crucial to clean the cooler's coils regularly to prevent debris buildup, which could cause system malfunctions. Additionally, fan blades should be cleaned, and the compressor should be inspected for potential mechanical issues.
Proper installation and sizing of dry coolers are critical for effective operation. Professional installers ensure the cooler is installed correctly and functions at its peak performance.
Dry coolers are an invaluable asset for marijuana growers aiming to maintain suitable temperature and humidity levels in their grow rooms.
Whether you cultivate cannabis on a small scale or run a large commercial grow room, dry coolers can contribute to the robust and healthy growth of your plants while keeping operating expenses low.
Ultimately, cannabis growers need to evaluate which type of temperature and humidity control system best meets their specific needs and resources, rather than solely relying on dry coolers.