Introduction Discover the future of energy-efficient HVAC systems in building design with Innodez MEP Engineering. As sustainability becomes a top
Building an indoor cannabis cultivation facility comes with many challenges and obstacles. These include; building permits, inspections, licensing, regulatory compliances, and in most cases, investment pressure.
Due to these challenges, most people easily overlook one of the most important aspects of the whole process; irrigation. As you know, water is important for the growth of all crops including cannabis. Besides, it offers a direct way to inject nutrients into the plant. Nonetheless, irrigation is usually overlooked, especially when it comes to budgetary and planning considerations.
Fortunately, with the right irrigation plan for indoor cultivation, your crops will grow healthy and fast. Yet you don’t even have to lift a finger to feed or water them. In this article, we’ll take you through 5 indoor design tips for indoor cannabis grow facilities that will ensure the success of your farm.
Things to consider in irrigation design for indoor cannabis Cultivation
- Water source
To produce the best bud, cannabis plants require a regular supply of water, nutrients, and TLC. Similarly, using the proper watering and cultivation techniques will ensure that your plants are healthier and more potent.
With that in mind, the first thing you need to consider in your irrigation plan for indoor cultivation is the water source. In that regard, you need to consider things like; is it a domestic well, or supplied from a city/ municipality? At the same time, you’ll need a complete water sample to determine the type of equipment needed for the irrigation system.
Also, knowing the pressure and flow rate of that water will come in handy at this stage. For instance, this will help you determine the growing capacity and estimate the size of your facility’s storage requirements.
- Designing the water room
Space layout is one of the most essential aspects of any indoor growing project. In most cannabis growing facilities, the water room (fertigation/ irrigation/ tank rooms) is usually undersized. To avoid this, consider the quantity and size of tanks as well as the amount and size of nutrient tanks needed for your project. The same case should apply to any other equipment that will be needed for the irrigation design for indoor cannabis cultivation as well. This may include, recess osmosis, fertigation injection, and the required concentrate & permeate tanks. Also, you have to consider other equipment that is usually stored in the water room like ozone/ UV sterilization equipment as well.
- Pipe layout and sizing
The sizing and layout of pipelines used in indoor cannabis grow facility is another factor you can’t overlook when designing an irrigation system. This is because issues like under-sizing the pipes may result in unnecessary energy consumption and pressure loss. More importantly, it’s good to check the water volume sitting in the pipes as well.
In addition, make sure you can calculate the flow rate in pipelines to ensure the nutrients are injected properly. Especially if your cultivation facility has an on-demand drip system with short pulse irrigations. Unfortunately, this calculation is not usually included in irrigation design for cannabis cultivation.
That aside, if you’re planning to have many nutrient recipe programs, install multiple mainlines or run a single pipeline to each zone/ room. In that regard, you can design and install systems with many recipes mainlines to each zone valve. This will help you to automate the irrigation process completely.
- Create zones & set sizes
Understanding you intend to irrigate your plants in an indoor cultivation facility is essential. For instance, let’s assume you’ll be growing many stains inside the room. In this case, you can choose to irrigate one bench at a different time instead of watering the entire room at once.
On the same note, you need to check the type of irrigation method you’re using for your facility. Will you be using sprinklers, flood irrigation, drip emitters, etc? Whichever the case, your irrigation system design must meet the required pressure and appropriate flow rate. As for pumping systems, targeting a lower flow rate may limit the maximum flow due to operational limitations.
All in all, knowing the flow rate will determine the pipe zing and pumping requirements. More notable, any future consideration should be made before the irrigation system is installed.
- Install auto-watering cannabis systems
If you’re growing your plants in a hot climate, installing a drip line system is the best way to irrigate your indoor cultivation facility. It will allow you to distribute and water your plants consistently and uniformly throughout the facility. Besides, a drip line system will help you to control the volume and frequency of watering. As a result, managing the nutrient supply to the plants will be much easier than hand watering.
As a more alternative, you can use other auto-watering cannabis systems like sprinkler irrigation. However, unlike drip line systems, sprinklers don’t provide water to each plant individually. Instead, the system will disperse water across all the crops.
As the popularity of cultivation facilities continues to increase, the space for irrigation system design is becoming more cluttered. Therefore, it’s important to bear the above design tips for an irrigation cannabis cultivation facility in mind right from the start. Remember, an irrigation system design plays an important role in determining the success of your indoor growing operation and fertigation. So, make sure you look for an experienced company in irrigation system design and installation like Innodez!