Cannabis Chiller FAQ for New Cannabis Operators

Industry experts have named cannabis one of the fastest-growing industries globally amid vast legalization and public support. As a result of this rapid market acceleration, many people are launching new careers in the cannabis industry as more growers, extraction facilities, distributors, and dispensaries have emerged.  

This post will offer helpful answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) for new cannabis extraction and grow facility operators considering a cannabis chiller to elevate business performance and profitability in a highly competitive landscape.  

We’ll start with the basics of cannabis chillers and progress into more technical aspects, including the type of compressors available, energy efficiency considerations, and recommended operational and maintenance protocols. 

What is a cannabis chiller? 

A cannabis chiller is a high-performance system designed and manufactured for your facility’s unique requirements. There are two primary types of cannabis chillers: extraction chillers and hemp plant cultivation chillers.  

Extraction chillers use process cooling to remove heat from the cannabinoid extraction process. In addition, they offer extra-low temperature control to ensure the liquids cycling through the plant remain at subzero temperatures to avoid denaturing and other damage.  

Hemp plant cultivation chillers are designed for grow facilities. They offer industrial-grade comfort cooling and plumb environmentally-safe fluids throughout the system to keep your greenhouse cool and promote plant growth.  

How does a cannabis chiller work? 

Cannabis process chillers for high-volume extraction facilities feature an evaporator, compressor, condenser, and expansion valve as their primary components, each with a specialized role in removing heat from the cannabinoid extraction process. They allow you to extract THC, CBN, CBD, and other cannabinoids using industrial-grade mechanisms that provide tight temperature control of +/- 1°F for the highest quality results.  

Hemp plant cultivation chillers for grow rooms operate like a comfort cooling chiller, cooling fluid temperatures to keep your greenhouse at optimal temperatures. 

Learn more about how process chillers work on our website.  

What are the advantages of using an industrial-grade cannabis chiller instead of an off-the-shelf comfort cooling chiller?  

Equipping your facility with an industrial-grade cannabis chiller over a standard off-the-shelf comfort chiller allows you to operate more efficiently and reliably. For instance, a cannabis chiller is uniquely designed for all-season operation, including the winter months, to maximize output and performance. In addition, an industrial-grade cannabis extraction chiller allows you to achieve the extra-low fluid temperatures required for maximum cannabinoid extraction with the ability to handle fluid temperatures as low as -20°F to -40°F. Finally, industrial-grade systems provide tighter temperature control of +/-1°F to help prevent denaturing- and other damage-causing fluid temperature dips. 

What type of compressors do cannabis chillers use? 

Cannabis chillers use one of two types of high-efficiency, low-temperature compressors: scroll and two-stage economized semi-hermetic. Scroll compressors use a set of interlocking scrolls to pressurize the refrigerant inside the compressor. They’re compatible with air– and water-cooled systems and perform well for many sporadic operations that run less than 24 hours daily. We often recommend scroll compressors for small operations and single equipment cooling needs.  

Two-stage economized semi-hermetic compressors are also compatible with air- and water-cooled chiller systems. They’re designed for high-volume cannabis applications and have many customization options to satisfy your facility’s needs.  

Both compressor types have the option of adding on an oil management system that helps increase performance reliability in extra-low temperatures to help your cannabis operation avoid unnecessary downtime.  

DRAKE Cannabis Chiller
DRAKE Cannabis Chiller

Are cannabis chillers energy efficient? 

As the cannabis industry grows, the demand for energy to power lighting, irrigation, and HVAC systems is rising, along with energy costs. To keep your energy consumption and costs down, consider a high-efficiency cannabis chiller design with energy-conscious options, including EC condenser fan motors, head pressure, pump variable frequency drive (VFD), and electronic expansion valves (EEVs).

Are cannabis chillers easy to operate? 

New technologies make cannabis chillers exceptionally user-friendly, including MCS microprocessors that allow you to access your controller from anywhere in the world. These intelligent systems help you monitor live and historical performance and receive email or text alerts in case of a system alarm. You can check out more on the advantages of these user-friendly control options on our blog

What maintenance is required for a cannabis chiller? 

Maintaining a cannabis chiller is relatively simple and incredibly important for ensuring your system operates reliably. A daily maintenance log and a quarterly and annual routine preventative chiller maintenance schedule are the primary protocols you need to follow. A knowledgeable tech support team and our library of helpful downloadable resources can also help you make the most of your investment. 

Visit our website for more frequently asked questions about cannabis chillers or contact our team for personalized answers for your newly established operation. 

Our robust line of engineered chiller solutions is designed to help your cannabis operation thrive. Contact our team for personalized assistance in configuring the ideal solution for your facility. We’re an industry-leading supplier of high-performance industrial-grade chillers with over 50 years of engineering, manufacturing, and customer service experience. Request a quote to get started.