This month’s indoor ag science café was on HVAC – heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning for indoor farms. Dr. Nadia Sabeh at Dr. Greenhouse explained basics of HVAC and introduced key parameters for plant growth, such as temperature, humidity, VPD (vapor pressure deficit), CO2 and air movement. She also reminded us that a well-designed HVAC system is critical for indoor farms by giving some examples of challenges in HVAC design. Humidity management is a unique challenge for indoor farm HVAC. Engineers and manufacturers do not understand the amount of moisture that plants add to the air via transpiration and how it affects the HVAC system and resulting environmental conditions. According to Dr. Sabeh, “no matter what, dehumidification is an energy intensive process!”. This forum is our first of the series to understand HVAC and please stay tuned as more cafés will be on this topic in the future!
Indoor Ag Science Café is supported by USDA SCRI grant program and designed to create a precompetitive communication platform among scientists and indoor farming professionals. The Café presentations are available from YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjwIeYlKrzH_uppaf2SwMIg4JyGb7LRXC Contact Chieri Kubota at the Ohio State University (Kubota.firstname.lastname@example.org) to be a Café member to participate.