Conventional LED Systems
LEDs are the most efficient lighting technology, especially for horticulture. However, until recently, they have been prohibitively expensive. To reduce prices, most manufacturers design fixtures to operate at slightly higher power levels and use forced-air heat sinks to maintain optimal diode temperatures. While this approach lowers the number of LEDs per fixture, the overall cost savings are limited because large aluminum heat sinks and reliable fans are not cheap. Additionally, the heat created by these fixtures and the photosynthetic inefficiencies of plants (around 85% of the input power) is released into the grow environment, requiring expensive HVAC systems to maintain ideal temperatures.
In order to reduce prices futher, LEDs need to be pushed harder without overheating. Liquid cooling is the most reasonable choice, since it offers 20x the heat absorption rate of air and is very affordable. Similar to cooling technologies used in supercomputing and server farms, the HYDRALED system is designed to push LEDs to their full potential. Once captured, the heat can be transported to other areas of the facility where it can be used, such as processing and packaging. When integrated properly, the energy efficiency of the facility can be tripled.
One of the main advantages of the HYDRALED system is its ability to control the temperature of your grow rooms. Since our fixtures are placed every 4 - 5 feet (indoor agriculture), they act as a large network of thermal nodes, absorbing or radiating heat as desired. Adjusting the temperature of your grow room is as easy as altering the input temperature of the cooling fluid. Therefore, a fraction of the HVAC is required to maintain ideal facility temperatures, mostly to offset heat from the exterior of the building on hot summer days. However, it should be noted that a more robust dehumidification system will be required to handle crop transpiration.