Decoupled Systems

Video transcript

Although we go into much greater detail in chapter eight of Getting Grow Rooms Right, I want to do a quick overview of one of the most common system types that we see in grow rooms today and a bit of its history, and that is decoupled systems.

A decoupled system is a cooling device that’s paired with a dehumidification device. And it comes from the legacy of this industry, from gray market or even black market growers who were solving problems. They had grow lights. Grow lights produced heat. They added an air conditioner. Lights turned off. They had a humidity problem. They added a dehumidifier. And in the legacy of early growing days, that has just been scaled up. And it’s still one of the most common system types we see applied to large commercial grows today.

The fundamental problems with it are you’ve got a cooling system and a dehumidification system that don’t communicate to each other. They’re each running independently. And so they tend to, or they may, fight each other.

Popularized because of their very low capital cost and their very quick installation time, as well as the ability for a DIY grower to install them, many growing professionals – you know, guys who have 15 or 20 or 30 years of experience in this market – grew up solving problems and tend to take that bias into very large commercial grows today.

Unfortunately, though, when you’ve got this disparate approach, this non integration of your cooling and dehumidification systems, it can fail to achieve the space stability that you’re looking for. And as a result, you’re going to pay too much for your HVAC, you’re going to pay too much in energy, and you’re never going to achieve that real stability that you’re looking for.
As well, dehumidification systems may be rejecting their heat back into the space, so you may end up with two systems that fight each other. You’ve got a dehumidification system that is combating humidity in your space, but that’s adding to your cooling load and increasing your run costs as a result.

Again, this is a very common system type. It’s born out of a very long legacy in this market, but it may not be the right approach for a very large grow and a successful commercial grow. I would love to be able to have an opportunity to chat with you about your facility and about any potential system types that you’re looking at.