Tecogen’s cool approach to cannabis
USA: Tecogen has received an order for two Tecochill water chillers for a cannabis factory in Massachusetts.
In a deal valued at $750,000, the two natural-gas-powered chillers will provide a total of 700 refrigeration tons of cooling (350 tons each) to the 50,000ft² cultivation area of the indoor growing facility.
The order follows similar orders for the company in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Canada where the production and sale of cannabis has been legalised.
The Tecochill chillers will be used to cool the growing space to offset the heat created by the lighting systems necessary to promote plant growth. The thermal energy from the Tecochill engines will be recovered in the form of hot water and utilised for dehumidification.
The system is expected to reduce operating costs for the facility by 50% while providing approximately equal reduction in the facility’s carbon footprint (relative to conventional electric chillers).
“The indoor and greenhouse cultivation markets has become a major market for the Tecochill product line,” said Tecogen Co-CEO Benjamin Locke. “Indoor cultivation in particular is an excellent fit for Tecogen’s gas powered chillers as these facilities are often adapted to pre-existing buildings that are not equipped to handle the high electric loading requirements. The Tecochill option may preclude an expensive electric upgrade or free up the existing electric supply for other process operations.”
Annual operating savings are said to be substantial, usually paying back the added investment in 1-2 years.