When the hierarchy at Anden decided to branch out into the cannabis industry with their proven humidity-controlled systems, they chose Shango Premium Cannabis in Las Vegas to be their showcase environment.
Wisconsin-based Anden reached out to Shango to use them as their model cultivation facility in the cannabis industry. Anden, a division of Research Products Corporation, built its reputation as a supplier of commercial and residential units for humidification and dehumidification. Anden executive Randy Lenz says despite its conservative roots, Anden focused on becoming the leader in the indoor cannabis industry.
“We were a conservative Midwest company, but we’ve lightened up a lot,” Lenz jokes.
Anden came to Shango and installed a state-of-the-art dehumidification system designed specifically for cultivation facilities worth $35,000.
“Our current system was less than desirable,” says Shango Las Vegas grow room chief Greg Stefanik. There is no doubt that these units are the best on the market. The Anden units have really allowed us to control our cultivations with precise environmental conditions that their competition can’t. They have a superior product in this category.”
For cannabis growers, designing an efficient grow with environmental controls that are conducive to growing plants indoors can be a tricky science – one that can impact a yield and quality. Understanding how to design cultivation rooms with a balanced environment goes a long way toward keeping pests, rot and powdery mildew at bay, maximizing efficiency and, ultimately, profits.
“In turn, I’m seeing a big increase in terpenes in the crop that was harvested out of the room with the new units,” says Stefanik. “That is going to be the most noticeable difference that our customers are going to see and smell.”
See www.anden.com for eight videos created at Shango in Las Vegas.
Fight the Good Fight
The biggest challenge facing indoor cultivators is controlling humidity. Factors such as air leakage, ventilation, heat radiation, solar gain and outdoor temperature can be damaging. Cannabis is particularly sensitive to humidity swings. In fact, 97 percent of the water dispensed to plants ends up in the air.
Unfortunately, when inefficient environmental solutions cause mold and funguses to creep in, they can destroy a crop.
“By maintaining a balanced, organic environment for your cannabis to grow in, you prevent water in its physical form from accumulating on your plant leaves,” Lenz says. “The longer moisture lingers on your crop, the more potential there is for damaging mold or fungus to spread to the rest of your crop.
“There are only two ways to eliminate these harmful elements from a grow room,” he added. “You can use chemicals, which can affect the quality and potency of your yield, or you can go the organic route by creating a balanced environment for your crop to thrive in.”
At capacities up to 300 pints per day and up to 500 cubic feet per minute of airflow, Anden dehumidifiers are specifically designed to pull moisture out of the air at lower temperatures. Maintaining proper airflow helps carry moisture away from plants.
Ideal humidity varies from 70% in seeding stages to as low as 30% in flowering stages.
“First, we ask about the size of the space and what kind of space it is,” Lenz says. “Are we talking about a greenhouse, a pod, or a indoor facility? Then, we take a look at the air conditioning equipment already installed. Typically, growers talk in tonnage, so they’ll say they have 20 tons, 50 tons, 100 tons of A/C. Understanding this helps us get a sense for the cooling power within the grow house.”
“Next, we need to know the number of lights being used to simulate the sun, a necessary part of growing plants indoors. As a rule of thumb, we try to size off of lighting because growers typically optimize the amount of plants they grow per light. Lastly, we need to know the maximum number of plants the grower plans to cultivate along with how much they plan to water them each day. This helps us determine how much humidity per plant is going to be released into the environment for our units to manage. A lot of it is strain-dependent.”
Certain strains need certain temperatures and humidity levels. However, on even a micro level, it’s important to balance humidity throughout specific parts of the day, especially into the night as the lights go off – which is typically when the plants transpire moisture from their leaves and start to sweat.
“You’ll then get water beads on the plant as they’re off-gassing all their CO2, which needs to be removed to protect the plant from moisture damage,” Lenz says. “A plant’s is the same way, so we have to get that excess moisture out of there as the lack of light in a nighttime environment affect the way the plant produces moisture. That’s where the biggest problem is with humidity control – getting the moisture out of the air so that the plant doesn’t suffer at night.
- Anden dehumidifiers are separate from the HVAC system.
- Anden dehumidifiers can maintain proper humidity levels any time of day throughout the growing life cycle.
- Anden Wi-Fi precision controls provide a mobile update of the conditions in your grow facility at all times. Monitor and adjust temperature and humidity set points anytime, anywhere using a connected smart device.
- Temperature and humidity can vary greatly between the upper and lower levels of a grow facility. With remote sensors for the temperature and humidity, Anden controls are able to sample the air at plant level, providing more accurate monitoring and control.
“We install sensors and multiple controls around the room so we can see when the humidity spikes,” Lenz says. “This allows growers to take action – using their system’s precision controls or even remotely through a corresponding smartphone app – pulling that moisture down before it causes any damage to their crops.”
The result is a win-win for both. See the results at www.goshango.com. Shango also has two dispensaries and three cultivation facilities in Oregon and look for Shango to take this knowledge with them into their expansion into Michigan and California.
“Our goal is to give our plants the perfect environment,” Stefanik says. “I would not have put them in if they were not going to benefit us. The entire Anden team has been such a pleasure to work with. They are out to prove the more perfect the environment is, the better the end product is.”
Ideal Humidity Levels
Seedlings and Clones | Ideal levels: 70-80%
Seedlings and clones like high humidity levels due to the fact that the root is not yet established. The high humidity levels allow moisture to be absorbed through the leaves.
Vegetative | Ideal levels: 40-70%
During the vegetative phase, humidity levels can be lowered by 5% each week as the plant begins to take root. The roots will take on more moisture over time. This water will evaporate through the leaves during this time to help cool off the plant, which will add more humidity to the air naturally.
Flowering | Ideal levels 40-65%
It’s important that the humidity levels are lowered to 40-65% during this phase. Any humidity level over 65% could potentially become damaging to the plant, which is relying on moisture from the soil to nourish the plant.
Final Weeks of Flowering | Less than 40%
One to two weeks before harvesting the cannabis, aim for humidity levels below 40%, which can ultimately help improve the yield, flavor and appearance of the plant.