How to Conserve Your Cannabis Chiller’s Energy Consumption & Reduce Utility Costs

cannabis plants in a cultivation facility

As cannabis legalization expands, the demand for energy to power lighting, irrigation, and HVAC systems for favorable growing conditions is on the rise – and so are energy costs. According to the Alliance to Save Energy, cannabis cultivation is an energy-intensive industry spending an estimated $6 billion annually on utilities. However, there are significant opportunities to reduce your facility’s energy consumption and protect your bottom line with energy-efficient best practices, such as LED lighting, automation irrigation solutions, and a high-efficiency cannabis chiller design.

In this article, we’ll profile energy- and cost-saving cannabis chiller options to consider when designing the best system for your cannabis extraction or grow room, including:

  • EC condenser fan motors 
  • Floating head pressure 
  • Heat reclaim
  • Pump VFD
  • Electronic expansion valves (EEVs)
  • Redundancy options
  • MCS microcontroller 
  • System alerts

Continue reading to learn how these energy-efficient cannabis chiller options can help reduce operational energy consumption – and your utility bills.

EC condenser fan motors

Electronically commutated (EC) condenser fan motors help stabilize your cannabis chiller’s refrigerant temperatures, requiring less energy to maintain fluid temperatures. Because of this, EC motors can operate at as much as 60-75% efficiency, whereas AC and DC fans might only reach 50% or less. EC motors also run cooler for less heat waste, benefitting your cannabis chiller’s compressor for even more energy savings. 

Floating head pressure

Floating head pressure is another energy-efficient and utility cost-saving option for your cannabis chiller. It uses ambient temperature to regulate the system’s pressure instead of relying on a continual electric power source for remarkably efficient chiller performance in environments below 95°F ambient.

Heat reclaim 

Heat reclaim options for the hot water loop of your cannabis chiller capture excess heat and reuse it in another operation, essentially creating and utilizing “free” energy. This energy-efficient process conserves energy usage and saves utility costs that you can recycle back into your cannabis operation.

Pump VFD

A variable frequency drive (VFD) on your cannabis chiller’s pump controls the speed of the motor while adjusting the input frequency and voltage. Rather than the motor running at maximum capacity, VFD matches the motor speed to the system’s demands to reduce energy consumption and save you money.

Electronic expansion valves (EEVs)

EEVs are another energy-efficient option to consider when designing your cannabis chiller. Unlike mechanical valves that operate on the fluctuating system pressure based on ambient and process temperatures, EEVs use electronic signals to meter the refrigerant flow entering your chiller’s evaporator.

Redundancy options

Redundancy options can also enhance your cannabis chiller’s energy efficiency. For instance, dual and multi-circuit options allow the system to use only the number of circuits required to match the heat load, helping to reduce energy demands and utility costs. 

MCS microcontroller

An MCS microcontroller is an automation control upgrade giving you remote access to your cannabis chiller’s status for tighter process control from anywhere. An MCS controller helps you monitor and adjust your system’s settings and performance on the spot to reduce costly energy waste.

System alerts

Finally, email and text system alerts in case of an alarm are another energy-efficient option to consider when designing a utility cost-saving cannabis chiller. These real-time notifications help you respond quickly to any inefficiencies in your cannabis chiller for optimal energy usage. Like any system upgrade, it’s essential to perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine which energy-efficient options are best for your cannabis operation. Contact our team for assistance or request a quote to learn more about our robust and custom-ready engineered solutions designed to keep your utility costs down. With over 50 years of chiller experience and excellent after-the-sale support, we are a trusted cannabis chiller partner with your bottom line in mind.