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Technological innovations and horticultural knowledge make it possible to increase crop performance. Growing conditions can be optimized and damage from disease, pests and weather influences can be reduced. Cultivation methods that allow precision growing give growers more control over the crop. By adapting the fertigation and climate to the plant needs, it is possible to increase yield quantity and quality. A greater uniformity of the crop also helps to increase predictability.
The cannabis plant requires the perfect environment to achieve high levels of quality. In order to create a healthy environment conducive to growth, the temperature, irrigation, light intensity, air humidity and CO2 concentration within the space must be completely in tune. To achieve these high-quality standards, it is important to understand the different levels of control within a growing operation.
Priva offers a broad range of horticultural & building automation solutions for the integrated monitoring and control of any growing facility. Its compelling control application library for lighting, irrigation and climate allows the control of all equipment related to high-end facilities, including water systems, HVAC and proprietary lighting. This industrial network is controlled through a cloud-first user interface and enhanced with an ecosystem of digital services for alarms, reports and crop optimization (to name a few).
Smart controls for sustainable growth
Productivity depends on the optimum balance of every process in your business. From cultivation to harvest and post-harvest, from water management and energy management to creating the right climate. Reaching an optimum balance means a higher yield, lower nutrient usage and better crop quality.
While creating an optimum balance, you also reduce the risk of pests and diseases and you can save water and recourses, which benefits the environment and maximizes profit. To create the perfect growing conditions, all processes must be linked and adjusted perfectly. All variables that influence growth can be monitored and adjusted to create the right climate for the cannabis plant.
3 levels of control for indoor cultivation
Integrated controls are the best way to control any growing operation with precision based on a proper mechanical design and layout. This style of control will accurately manage all aspects of the operation using “feedforward” or anticipatory technology to ensure that all equipment and systems are totally integrated and in sync. For example, before the lights come on, the HVAC system is already ramping up to anticipate the added heating load and the dehumidification for the transpiring plants.
With an integrated system, all equipment in the growing operation is fully controlled and managed by the Priva central controller ensuring that everything runs optimally and efficiently. This not only provides the best environment for plants to thrive in, but it also creates a sustainable operation for happy people and healthy profits. Contrary to PLC controls, integrated controls allow you to mitigate any fluctuation of your key environmental and irrigation aspects. An integrated controller also provides you with one central system to analyze data and one company to help grow and support your business.
Setpoint controls via BACnet
A growing operation will ideally centralize all of its controls, essentially using only one steering wheel or user interface. With BACnet, the HVAC will always have its own controller, and other systems such as lighting, CO2, and irrigation will also be controlled independently.
Most system controllers will be optimized for that specific piece of equipment and is designed to run it efficiently until it starts to lag due to sudden changes in the environment. The HVAC controller does not know when the lights are coming on, and the lighting controller does not know when the the irrigation cycle is starting. These changes all have a big impact on each other with no central controller that can anticipate everything.
In this setup, a Priva controller can effectively modulate all of the different systems and equipment to achieve the best results possible for the crop, equipment, and to help reduce energy costs. The feedback from the equipment together with our precision climate sensors will help to maintain a healthy growing environment. Data from the central Priva controller can assist the grower to make the necessary adjustments for a healthy crop.
On/off controls, or step controls, are less predictive and provide the least amount of control within a growing operation. This makes it more difficult to achieve the desired results as the system is hunting for setpoint. The results of on/off controls are less predictable because of greater swings in temperature and humidity, and they are typically less sustainable for natural resources like water and energy.
Most PLC controllers work in this way, showing a perpetual fluctuation of your sensor data. This type of control will put the most strain on your equipment, because it is constantly turned ‘on’ or ‘off’. Although a decentralized mechanical layout should not be your first choice, a Priva controller can effectively stage the different systems and equipment to achieve the best results possible for the crop, equipment, and to help reduce energy costs. The feedback from our precision climate sensors will help to maintain a desired growing environment. Data from the central Priva controller can assist the grower to make the necessary adjustments for a healthy crop.
Priva provides services to the top publicly traded cannabis growers in the world. Since the cultivation of medicinal cannabis in Canada was legalized, the company followed the development of this industry closely. Priva is convinced of the positive contribution medicinal crops make to improving the health of a large group of people with chronic diseases and pain. That is what Priva wants to use its knowledge and expertise for and that is why the company adopted the market at an early stage. Priva joined the top companies in the steep learning curve that enabled them to become the leaders in their industry. With over 60 years of horticultural knowledge combined with 30 years of building automation knowledge, Priva has positioned itself as the sole true system integrator for the industry.
As the industry stabilizes and the need for high-precision control increases, Priva aims to support global industry players in co-creating knowledge for the high-precision growing of traceable and clean medicinal crops. Together with its partners and customers, Priva wants to build a more comprehensive understanding of the effect of control strategies on the quality of the end-product and define parameters for full automation of indoor facilities