The cannabis industry is advancing fast all over the globe, and the European industry is no exception. However, compared to North America, the EU cannabis sector has still a long way to go before achieving the desired level of professionalism. In an effort to drive the industry towards this goal, the German company Airbend has developed HVAC systems specifically for medical cannabis cultivation. “Here in Europe there aren’t super large-scale facilities like in North America, yet,” Simon Grobauer with Airbend says. “That’s why it’s still necessary to develop that kind of professionalism here. When we looked at that, we saw that HVAC systems were one of the most overlooked elements of cannabis growth because growers have to think of so many different pieces of equipment, and when they get to the HVAC, it might be that they have to compromise.”
From the left: Simon Grobauer and Michael Huber of AirBend
Compromising on the HVAC or miscalculating the future HVAC load can have significant effects on the cultivation. “Especially if you take into account the transpiration rate of cannabis plants,” Simon remarks. “Which means that you’d need a performing dehumidifier. So, growers need a system that can cool the temperature down, but can also handle a huge amount of humidity in the room. All of that is indeed the basis above which we have built our HVAC system.”
Airbend has indeed created an HVAC system with a dehumidifier integrated. “With our HVAC systems, growers can control all the temperature parameters in the grow room,” Simon continues. “For instance, the system is designed so that it dehumidifies whilst heating or cooling. At the same time, you can also hook up your CO2 so that you can regulate its content in the growing environment.” Simon and Airbend have designed a system that takes into consideration the most pressing issues when it comes to controlling the climate.
But it is not only about the operational aspect. “Our system has been developed to be the most maintenance-friendly possible,” he points out. “All the components and parts have been used for years in the automation industry. This basically means that if something breaks down or needs to be substituted, all the parts can be easily ordered and delivered instantly."
The flexibility of the components is also crucial when it comes to manufacturing tailor-made solutions. “Every grower has their secret sauce and technique,” he continues. “Even though we mainly offer our standard Airbend solution, we can also tweak them and make them tailor-made to a given operation. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to provide growers with an HVAC system that ensures a healthy and profitable crop.”
That is a critical consideration when it comes to selecting the HVAC. “So many things depend on it that it’s always necessary to carefully consider all the variables. At the same time, the old story of ‘the more you spend now, the less you’ll spend later’ holds particularly true here.”
That is because the cannabis industry in Europe is evolving quite fast, and growers will have to be able to meet the strict quality standards. “The future of cannabis is bright in the EU,” he says. “And the EU is about to realize how important is to have industry standards.”