Demand Snowballs for Propane-Fueled Commercial HVAC Systems

Indoor Cannabis Grow Rooms and Greenhouses Seeding New Approaches to Mission-Critical Heating and Cooling

DALLAS, April 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Intense heating and cooling needs for indoor farming operations has sparked a boom for propane fuel in both urban and rural markets that have inadequate electricity and no natural gas infrastructure.

In these markets, propane sellers are coupling volume pricing with an innovative gas heat-pump (GHP) air conditioning system that makes propane an alternative to upgrading electric utility infrastructure.

The new Sierra GHP commercial heating and cooling unit, available in the U.S. from HVAC pioneer Mestex, provides energy-efficient indoor climate management, 24/7. Sierra state-of-the-art propane-powered mechanical systems are controlling the climates of award-winning indoor agriculture facilities -- cannabis, vegetables and microgreens -- nationwide.

Mestex will showcase the Sierra GHP in the Innovation Pavilion at the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) Southeastern Convention and International Propane Expo, April 6 - 8, 2018 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia.

"For commercial indoor agriculture, the availability, quality and consistency of electricity for heating and cooling is often inadequate," said Sarah Swinford, vice president for engineered sales at Mestek, Inc. "The Sierra propane-fueled, industrial-grade HVAC system allows commercial indoor growers to maintain precise temperature, humidity and CO2 levels in both remote and urban areas that have limited infrastructure."

An underdeveloped area just north of Las Vegas houses a new industrial park and among the tenants are commercial indoor cannabis grow facilities. The lack of water, sewer, and natural gas line access to the area has posed problems for the developing businesses.

"There is uncertainty as to whether growers in this area will ever have access to natural gas lines, so propane is the solution," said William Platz of Delta Liquid Energy, a propane distributor in Nevada and California. "By using propane-powered HVAC systems, our fuel allows these businesses to keep their operation running efficiently at a price that's competitive with both electric and natural gas utilities."

Demand is growing in the U.S. for the Sierra GHP, which unlike any other air conditioning system on the market, uses an internal combustion engine to drive mechanical parts of the unit. Fueled by natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (propane), the Sierra GHP is ideal for indoor agricultural applications that rely on mission-critical heating and cooling, as well as for general commercial, institutional and residential buildings.

Mestex, a division of Mestek, Inc., is a group of HVAC manufacturers with a focus on air handling and a passion for innovation. Mestex is the only HVAC manufacturer offering industry-standard direct digital controls on virtually all its products, which include Applied Air, Alton, Aztec, Koldwave, Sierra, Temprite and LJ Wing HVAC systems.

Featured Product

Particularly small and cost-effective: Market launch of the uEye XLS cameras

Particularly small and cost-effective: Market launch of the uEye XLS cameras

Image processing opens up a wide range of possibilities for the automation of modern agriculture - but what to do when only a small budget is available? That is where the uEye XLS comes in. With the launch of these super-small industrial cameras, even price-sensitive applications and volume projects become feasible. Measuring just 29 x 29 x 7 mm, the compact cameras offer excellent imaging characteristics without excessive heat generation, making them a perfect fit for embedded vision applications in agricultural machinery and equipment. The industrial cameras comply with the vision standard and are available with Micro-B connectors and with or without C/CS or S-mount lens holders, further increasing their adaptability to different agricultural environments. Thanks to these features, the cameras offered by IDS Imaging Development Systems lower the barriers to entry and make it easier to explore the potential of vision technology to optimize agricultural processes.