CHICAGO — Desert Aire Corp. attended its first AHR Expo since being acquired by Multistack LLC in 2017. The two companies had a joint booth at the event.
“The transition has really gone well,” said Keith Coursin, Desert Aire president. “You think the businesses are so different but you come to find out that they are really not that different. When you look at what takes place to design and create and the steps to production floor; you realize there is a lot more that is the same rather than different. Since they are two Wisconsin businesses, the cultures were pretty close to each other. It was really easy and intuitive that this is the way things would go. It was a nice surprise.”
At the time of the transaction, the plan was for Multistack to operate Desert Aire as a wholly-owned subsidiary. The two companies would maintain their separate headquarters and manufacturing facilities. Despite operating in two difference cities, there has been a lot of collaboration.
“In the first year, we were able to address a lot of the obvious things or the low-hanging fruit,” Coursin said. “We are now buying from the same vendor for parts. Things like that. We have two well-respected brands. We want to keep it that way. We want to work together to enhance the two brands.”
On the product side, Desert Aire came to the realization that its products could be a perfect fit in a new market. And that new market is humidity control for marijuana grow facilities.
“It was really our current customers of mechanical engineers and mechanical contractors who would call and say they need help in selecting and sizing a piece of equipment to take care of this moisture problem,” said Coursin. “What really hit me early on was how close this application was to one of our core markets — the indoor pool segment. I have used that as part of my explanation to people I’m talking with who don’t understand HVAC. We have solved problems in indoor pools where there is water always giving up moisture. In an indoor grow facility, the plants and water are always giving up moisture. We are talking about design conditions that are very similar — hot and humid, 80°F, and 50-60 percent relative humidity. There are similarities. Pool rooms need heat in the wintertime and cooling in the summertime. Our dehumidifier is a heater, air conditioner, and dehumidifier. In our industry, we just call them dehumidifiers, but they do the complete range of air handler tasks for an indoor pool. Come into the indoor grow room; when the lights are on, you have to cool, and when the lights are off, you need to heat. Our customers actually recognized it before we did. This was the same range of tasks and the same problem to solve. That is how we got going in this marketplace.”
The company has published a new technical resource that explains how to minimize the power consumption of HVAC systems needed to maintain optimal conditions in grow rooms and indoor farms.
“Application Note 27 — HVAC Systems and Grow Room Energy Usage” is a six-page publication that helps growers, consulting-specifying engineers, and mechanical contractors understand the intricacies of grow room and indoor farm energy use. The Application Note focuses on regulating and matching sensible and latent process loads to maintain the design set points of growers, climate control functions essential to maximizing crop yields, and desirable product traits.
It also details how Desert Aire’s GrowAire™ purpose-built systems combine the functions of air conditioners and dehumidifiers into integrated solutions. These integrated solutions provide growers with low operating costs and tight temperature and humidity set point control. An additional, critical benefit is the ability to precisely control the vapor pressure deficits of grow rooms. To support its technical discussion, the Application Note compares the energy consumption of four types of grow room HVAC systems during the key modes of lights-on and lights-off operation. This energy consumption discussion also examines the impact that plants have on cooling the room through their transpiration process.
The publication “Application Note 27 – Grow Room Environmental Control” is available for download as a PDF at desert-aire.com. To receive a printed copy of the publication, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication date: 2/26/2018