HVAC in the mushroom industry?
I would like to learn about the HVAC required in farming mushrooms!
Hello, my name is Connor Meyers and I am trying to learn about the types of HVAC equipment that medium to large sized mushroom farms use. I would like to know not only what HVAC units are used (ex: dampers, sensors, etc.), but also what they are used for and why. If anyone could give me some information on this topic it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.
I'm curious if there is specific equipment. The major difference would be determining tha ideal climate conditions (temeprature & humidity) as well as possibly CO2 and oxygen levels and designing a system to maintain that with heating cooling humidification, dehumidification and fresh air.
The type of building structure will make a big difference as well. I'm guessing humidity is the major challenge.
The environment I'm looking at would be large warehouses, up to 10,000 square feet where like you said, humidity and temperature have to be at very specific levels. I'm wondering specifically what types of HVAC products these warehouses are currently using to perform these tasks.
I can give you some idea's from here in the S. Pa. area (Kennett Square, Kaoln, Avondale). Most of the houses are small "chicken house" like buildings that are totally enclosed so the enviornment can be regulated. However, we serviced one very large faclity that was a large warehouse type building with long hallways and growing rooms branching off them (spotless). There was a mechanical room with Cleaver Brooks boilers (2) and Two Trane absorbers along with AHU's to supply the rooms conditioned air. That was 20 - 25 yrs ago but the facility is still in business. Needles to say the equip has been changed out.Last I heard they were using Carrier chillers.
After a crop was harvested the growing room was stripped, steam cleaned, and reloaded with fresh beds of a new crop. It was (is) an interesting process.
I don't consider 10,000 sqft to be a very large warehouse. You might have trouble reaching ideal economies of scale at that size unless it's specialty, high margin mushrooms. In which case if you have multiple varaties, you'd likely need compeltely isolated clean rooms.
The style of system needed for muchroom growing if probably more similar to that needed for a cleanroom for manufacturing biological pharmaceuticals, except your humidity levels I suspect would be much higher. You'd have to compeltely control fresh air ventilation, keep the buildign under positive pressure and use HEPA filters to purify the air to keep out foreign spores, bacteria, mold, etc.
But I've never personally seen one for mushroom farming. The best starting pplace si from a process technolgoy standpoint, knowing what conditions you need in terms of overall air quality and environment. Then design the building envelope around that need and select equipment to achieve those conditions that takes into account all heat loads and cooling loads. You may want to factor in partial redundancy on the equipment so you don't loose a whole crop because a air handler failed.
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Mushroom production areas, are high humidity, high oxygen (lots of fresh air) with very low air velocity over the product (very even air distribution, via socks, tapered ducts, or perforated ducts) Actual temps very much depend upon the type of mushroom and the growth and quality requirement of the grower. High levels of filtration are generally not required.
Depending upon location, some form of energy recovery can be used in conjunction with air -pass as temp control mechanism.
On large installations it is common to use secondary refrigerant loops (glycol, water etc), small operations tend to have individual refrig units, with some level of capacity control, (from simple EPR or hot gas injection, to more complex variable refrigerant flow VSD, Digital, Staging)
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