STONEVILLE, Miss. - What do you do when you have millions of tons of cottonseed and no place to put them? This was the dilemma facing Danny Turnage, manager of Stoneville Pedigreed Seed, the largest cottonseed company in the region. For 10 years, Stoneville stored its seed in a cold-storage rental unit 60 miles away from its production facility. Another company bought the cold storage units in April 2004. Stoneville had to quickly find another seed storage site.

Location And Climate

After researching what was available, Turnage found two building shells with approximately 20,000 square feet - enough space to warehouse the company's current and future seed supplies.

A major challenge for Turnage was to convert these 60- by 120-foot and 60- by 200-foot shells into climate-controlled storage environments. Without properly regulating the temperature and humidity, the stability of the seed would be lost, especially during a hot Mississippi summer.

Turnage decided to seek the help of Lee Gordon of Air Tech, a small contracting company in Greenville. Gordon realized that the scope of the project would require him to get others involved, so he turned to Bud Martin at C.C. Dickson Co., a wholesaler and Heatcraft Refrigeration Products' (HRP) Chandler Refrigeration distributor in Memphis, Tenn.

To maintain seed quality, the temperature inside the large storage containers would have to fall somewhere between 55 degrees and 60 degrees F with no hot spots. Moisture levels would also have to be precisely controlled. Although other vendors had told Turnage this couldn't be done, Martin said he was sure a solution could be found.

The Solution

Martin contacted the HRP Chandler manufacturing representative and engineers at Steve Lee & Associates of Lawrenceville, Ga. Together, they recommended an eight-system solution consisting of a combination of Chandler air handlers and condensing units (two 15 hp, three 12 hp, and three 7.5 hp) using R-22.

The air handlers were mounted from the ceilings with 5/8-inch all-thread rods. The condensing units were set on the side of the building on concrete slabs.

"Bud and the HRP Chandler team really helped us provide what Stoneville Pedigreed Seed needed with their refrigeration expertise and equipment," Gordon said. "They were very hands-on during the entire project and provided us with exactly what was necessary to get the job done.

"This was a very positive experience for all of us," said Al Zeigler, Stoneville Pedigreed Seed site manager. "It was great to know we could count on Lee and Bud to answer questions we had and to work with our team to help fine-tune the project. They did everything we asked and more to make sure the units were installed in the proper locations and working at maximum capacity."

"With the heat and humidity of summer rapidly approaching, time was a major factor. We would never have been up and running so quickly without all the help we received."

Publication date: 09/05/2005