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State of the Market: Demystifying Dehumidification In Indoor Horticultural Environments

Last updated: 04-10-2021

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State of the Market: Demystifying Dehumidification  In Indoor Horticultural Environments

State of the Market: Demystifying Dehumidification In Indoor Horticultural Environments

Controlled environment agriculture operations require climate control systems to maintain conditions optimal for plant growth and development. Managing moisture in cultivation environments is crucial for plant transpiration, and removing moisture from grow rooms can be accomplished using various types of dehumidification equipment, each with its own effectiveness and energy impacts.

Plant transpiration is not well understood by efficiency programs and incentives for high-performance dehumidification approaches are often being calculated using custom assessments of energy savings. Cultivators also struggle to understand how different dehumidification systems affect their ability to provide consistent conditions in their growing environments.

Utilities and energy efficiency programs can benefit from understanding traditional and efficient approaches to dehumidification processes and quantifying the energy benefits using consistent approaches that can be standardized to support a greater number of customers and claim more defensible savings.

1-2:30 p.m. ET: Webinar with Technology Overview, Testing and Certification for Dehumidification Equipment, Utility Incentive Approaches

2:30-3 p.m. ET: Breakout sessions for Q&A and Discussion on Data, Technology, & Policy Landscape issues

Gretchen Schimelpfenig, PE, is the Technical Director of the Resource Innovation Institute and manages the organization’s Technical Advisory Council. In her work in Vermont, she commissioned HVAC and lighting designs and installed systems in commercial and industrial buildings, including greenhouses and controls systems used for academic research on hemp and other cultivars. She authored the RII Best Practices Guides on HVAC and LED Lighting for Cannabis Cultivation and Controlled Environment Agriculture. She has a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Wyoming and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University. She is a licensed Civil Professional Engineer in California and Vermont.

Lauren Morlino is an Emerging Technologies and Services Manager at Efficiency Vermont, the statewide energy efficiency utility. Lauren researches and prototypes exciting, innovative, and efficient technologies and services for Vermont ratepayers. During her last seven years at Efficiency Vermont, Lauren has researched and designed initiatives for lighting, controls, refrigeration, consumer electronics, and controlled environment agriculture (CEA). She is an external advisor for VEIC on customer-centric program design and controlled environment agriculture, and has published papers on several emerging technologies. Lauren has presented at national conferences including ACEEE, AESP, DesignLights Consortium, DOE Better Buildings Summit, HortiCann Light + Tech, Indoor Agriculture Energy Solutions, and Esource.

Craig Burg is the Director of Engineering for Desert Aire LLC. He has worked for Desert Aire for 22 years designing and leading product development as well as application efforts. He currently oversees research and development, custom system engineering, product testing, manufacturing engineering, and quality.

Craig attended Milwaukee School of Engineering for Mechanical Engineering. He is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, & Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), a voting member and former committee chair and current Standard Subcommittee chair for ASHRAE TC 8.10 – Mechanical Dehumidifiers and Heat Pipes, member of TC 2.2 Plant and Animal Environments, and currently is chairing ASHRAE SPC 198 Method of Testing for Vapor Compression Cycle Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems. He is a member of AHRI Applied Products Section Task Forces.

Craig has designed a wide variety of air conditioning and dehumidification systems from small residential to very large commercial units. He currently holds five international patents and has two more patents pending related to efficient vapor compression cycles and air reheating.

Bill Tritsis has more than 29 years of experience in the HVACR industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, and master’s degrees in Information Technology and Engineering Management from The George Washington University. Before joining AHRI, Bill worked for 10 years in a consulting engineering firm where he designed HVAC systems, drafted specifications, and was responsible for construction management, fee negotiations and contract awards. Bill began his career with AHRI in 2002 as a certification engineer and later led AHRI’s certification team as the Director of Certification Programs. For the last 12 years, Bill serves as AHRI’s Vice President of Certification Programs. In this capacity, he is responsible for all 40 AHRI Certification Programs and manages a team of engineers that administer over 3000 product performance tests per year.

Fran Boucher, CEM, LEED AP works as an Energy Program Specialist with National Grid and has over 25 years of energy engineering and facilities experience.

He has led the program design and engineering effort for the Cannabis production market in MA and RI since its inception in 2017. This includes involvement in 80 plus customer projects ranging from 1,500 to 100,000 Sf of canopy area. The bulk of these projects include efficient HVAC systems with an increasing number of applications that involve; fuel cells, combined heat and power and gas engine driven chillers.

As an early adopter for utilities involved in this market, he has experienced challenges of all kinds including; evolution of the State lighting power standards, changes in market design practices, reworking of failed HVAC designs and multiple cases of energy savings falling well short of expectations.

Nick Collins, PE, is the Associate Director of ERS’s Maine office. He is a professional engineer and a nationally recognized expert on energy use and facility performance in cannabis and indoor agriculture. His areas of expertise include the monitoring and verification of energy efficiency projects and the analysis of energy efficiency and demand-limiting measures in residential, commercial, and industrial facilities. Nick has been on the delivery team implementing Efficiency Maine programs for the past 10 years. He has led numerous impact evaluations of utility and program administrator incentive programs in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors including the last three consecutive NYSERDA Industrial Process and Efficiency (IPE) gross impact evaluations. For the past three years, Nick has applied his expertise to the indoor cannabis cultivation industry where he has toured dozens of facilities, performed scoping audits, detailed technical reviews, and ground-breaking measurement and verification activities on indoor facilities throughout the Northeast and Colorado. Nick has been presenting these findings and training other professionals on the topic of energy use and efficiency in indoor cannabis cultivation at conferences across the country. He has published papers and presented with ACEEE, IEPEC, IEC, KEEA, NESEA, and EUCI. He is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association Facility Design Committee. Before joining ERS, Nick was a project manager in construction management on projects including Gillette Stadium, Terminal A at Logan Airport, and the Walker Art Building renovation and expansion at Bowdoin College. He received his BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Maine.

Keith Coursin is the president of Desert Aire LLC, a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of integrated environmental control systems including GrowAire™ Systems for the cannabis cultivation industry. In addition to his duties at Desert Aire, Mr. Coursin served in 2009 as chairman of the board of directors of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). He has also served on numerous AHRI committees. Mr. Coursin is also a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Keith Coursin’s efforts to drive market-based solutions that promote resource efficiency include development of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Model Aquatic Health Code as well as ANSI/ACCA standards detailed in the CDC’s HVAC Design for Swimming Pools & Spas (Manual SPS).

Chip holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Grinnell college and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. For the last 10 years he has worked with dehumidifiers and air filtration equipment across several different industries including restoration, whole house dehumidification, crawlspace encapsulation/ pest control, and marine moisture control. Chip has extensive experience with new product development having overseen the development of desiccant and refrigerant dehumidifiers ranging from 4,000 pints per day to 70, HEPA air scrubbers, air movement equipment and basement/ crawlspace dehumidifiers. Chip now leads the Anden team working to develop world class climate control equipment for the indoor agriculture space. In his free time you can find chip working on home improvement projects, skiing, playing soccer, or hanging out on the water with his wife and two dogs.

Jesse is one of InSpire’s resident cannabis cultivation experts and his love and passion for the plant is infectious. He keeps the team intimately connected with our cultivation partners, ensuring the solutions we deploy meet the environmental parameters they seek to maintain. As a cannabis cup winner and an avid genetics collector, Jesse has spent his professional career operating commercial cultivation facilities, consulting on commercial projects and most recently owning a hydro-shop where he enjoyed connecting growers to products that would contribute to their success and brewing compost tea daily. He has a political science degree from UC Berkeley and is the Committee Organizer for the NCIA’s Cannabis Cultivation Committee.


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