From battling harmonics to achieving high efficiency in a greenhouse facility

Segment background

The Mildura factory in Australia produces and cultivates cannabis plants for medicinal and industrial uses. It involves careful cultivation of cannabis plants in controlled environments, such as indoor grow facilities or outdoor farms. Factors such as lighting, temperature, humidity, and nutrient levels are carefully managed to optimize plant growth and maximize yield.

After harvesting, the plants undergo processing, which may involve drying, curing, trimming, and extraction of cannabinoids and other compounds. The production of cannabis requires adherence to legal regulations and quality control standards to ensure product safety and consistency.

Renowned as one of Australia’s forefront facilities for cultivating and producing medicinal cannabis, the Mildura site distinguishes itself through its advanced technology and expansive scale. It uses a closed system microclimate-controlled glasshouse, which harnesses innovative techniques to optimize the growth cycles of plants.

Challenges at the customer’s facility

Indoor cultivation of cannabis plants heavily relies on environmental conditions, necessitating specific considerations in the design of mechanical systems within the facility. These systems encompass heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting arrangements, automation, and other electrical infrastructure.

Greenhouse lights are a typical source of high harmonic currents, usually causing a harmonic spectrum with notable amounts of 3rd, 5th, and 7th harmonic components. The presence of third harmonics (harmonic orders divisible by three) in the network puts the electrical system and the whole facility at risk because they cause high currents, and therefore overheating, in the neutral wire.

The primary objective was to ensure that the harmonics generated by the numerous growth lights and other electronically regulated equipment would not create any issues within the facility. Additionally, minimizing energy consumption was a crucial aspect to reduce overall energy costs.

Our Merus® Solution

The optimal power quality solution that was found for this indoor growth facility was a combination of dynamic active harmonic filtering and traditional Power Factor Correction -equipment (filter capacitor bank). The combination of an active harmonic filter and a filter capacitor bank enables cost-effective power factor improvement, while successfully mitigating the harmonic currents to an acceptable level. To accomplish acceptable power quality levels, the facility operator selected Merus Power to deliver a Merus® HPQ-Hybrid Power Quality Compensator. This solution offered selectable filtering and protection features, ensuring reliable harmonic reduction and power factor improvement capabilities. The availability of local engineering support from our partner Ampcontrol further enhanced the decision-making process.

Segment / Application

Medicinal cannabis producing greenhouse

Location

Australia

Power quality issue

High current harmonic distortion

Merus® Solution

Customer Benefits

  • Improved power quality in the greenhouse
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Longer lifetime of sensitive electrical equipment
  • Increased operational efficiency

Results after installation

By implementing this Merus® Solution, the indoor growth facility experienced several benefits. It achieved enhanced energy efficiency while minimizing harmonics.

The adoption of the system led to improved power quality and enhanced overall electrical system performance. These favorable outcomes resulted in increased operational efficiency, lowered maintenance costs, and created a more sustainable and productive environment for cannabis cultivation.

In 2016, the Australian Government legalized access to medicinal cannabis. (Source: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/medicinal-cannabis)


Do you have any questions?

Please contact one of our salespeople with questions and inquiries.

Riku Kalliomaa

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Viktoria Mansikkala

Sales Manager,
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+358 44 9 735 737 viktoria.mansikkala@meruspower.com

Juhani Jaatinen

Senior Sales Manager,
DACH, Benelux, France

+49 160 762 4909 (DE) juhani.jaatinen@meruspower.com

Pedro Esteban

Director,
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+65 9155 4225 pedro.esteban@meruspower.com

Venkatesh Ramachandra

Regional Sales Manager,
Middle East

+971 50 55 38 465 venkatesh.ramachandra@meruspower.com
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