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CO2 enrichment and monitoring: where's the balance?

“Vertical Air Solutions provides an effective delivery of carbon dioxide, but it also provides a consistent environment to keep CO2 levels uniform,” says James Cunningham, founder of Vertical Air Solutions (VAS). VAS is an agtech company providing a low-profile air circulation system to improve air circulation within vertical racking systems.

“Like with irrigation lines, the CO2 supply can be hard-piped into the cultivation room then injected directly into VAS’ plenum. When injected through VAS’ system, carbon dioxide is mixed into the airstream and delivered right above the canopy,” says James.

According to James, carbon dioxide enrichment and monitoring is particularly challenging in vertical farms because racks and trays impede air movement and stratifies the climate. Since carbon dioxide is heavier than air, it sinks to the lowest point in the room. By providing carbon dioxide inside each rack and close the canopy, CO2 delivery through VAS is ultra-efficient.

“Carbon dioxide spreads relatively quickly in a space which is hypothetically great for saturating a room, but installing racks and trays create impediments. It’s similar to trying to deliver conditioned air through all the barriers. With our low-profile ducting, VAS delivers air uniformly throughout the crop,” explains James.

Precision monitoring of carbon dioxide
When coupling the VAS air circulation with CO2 enrichment, the carbon dioxide concentration is constantly monitored with CO2 regulators. As James explains, the regulators need to be in a space that is reflective of the actual carbon dioxide conditions in the room. By providing a more consistent environment in the cultivation room, VAS allows growers to more accurately measure the carbon dioxide concentration.

Continuing research and development
With Vertical Air Solutions having first been developed to meet the air circulation needs of Fog City Farms, a high-tech cannabis farm co-founded by James, VAS can continually test its products in real-life production settings.

“We are constantly walking the fine line between developing new technology while generating revenue,” says James.

According to James, CO2 enrichment varies depending on the type of lighting used, with VAS’ in-house research showing that cannabis production under LED lights has a higher optimal CO2 enrichment rate. Whereas production under HID lights typically required 900 ppm, LEDs can provide narrow wavelengths to optimize photosynthesis and increase the crop’s consumption of carbon dioxide. As such, CO2 enrichment in LED-lit vertical farms can be higher than under HID lights.

Other than its in-house research, VAS has also been working to streamline its production processes to deal with rising material costs and continually optimize the system. James explains that VAS has been experiment with different plena, ducting design and whole system configuration to ensure client success and satisfaction.

For more information:
Vertical Air Solutions
James Cunningham, founder 

For more information:
Pipp Horticulture
2966 Wilson Drive NW
Walker, Michigan 49534
P: 616-988-4044
F: 616-988-4045