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Replacing obsolete dehumidifier delivers more energy efficient solution for Floranova

Replacing obsolete equipment after 30 years in operation

Floranova is a renowned specialist in the breeding and supply of ornamental F1 hybrid plants and open pollinated seeds.

The company has development programmes to breed a wide variety of bedding plants. The seeds for these plants, known as parent seeds, are sent abroad to countries including India and China. These countries will grow the crops in polytunnels, returning the finished product to the UK or where required.

Storing seeds

When it comes to storing the seeds ahead of shipping and planting, temperature and humidity control is extremely important. If the seeds are exposed to high humidity, they will start to germinate. Maintaining consistent and precise humidity levels, as well as the right temperature, means that the seeds remain in stasis. This will preserve them and prevent any damage.

“The biggest issue is the humidity” says Stuart Walpole, Process Manager at Floranova. If stored unprotected in a fridge at low temperature, the humidity would still be very high. This would quickly result in damaged product and reduce the life of the seed.

When correctly stored, the seeds can last anywhere from between 2-3 years, up to 20 years, depending on the breed or type of seed.

Replacing obsolete equipment

For over 30 years, a Munters MD300 desiccant dehumidifier had been providing the required humidity control to Floranova’s most critical seed storage area. However, this system and its associated parts have since become obsolete and so Munters recommended an alternative from their latest product portfolio.

Munters ML270 desiccant dehumidifier was selected as the closest like for like replacement in terms of airflow. It also has the added benefit of delivering a higher moisture removal capacity than the previous system.

How it works

As the air surrounding the seed store is more humid than the air inside, it tries to enter through any gaps in the room construction. This infiltrating air would increase the humidity level within, and the seeds would start to germinate. Additionally, when the seed store doors are opened, unconditioned air enters, further increasing the humidity levels inside.

To combat the effects of the humid air, the dehumidifier draws the air inside the seed store and dries it using Munters desiccant rotor technology. This dry air is then fed back into the room next to the evaporator, which cools the dry air and keeps the room at a constant temperature.

Creating the optimal environment

The temperature in this particular store is maintained to around 12-15 degrees. The ML270 dehumidifier is used with a humidistat, which automatically turns on and off to maintain conditions to between 27-33% relative humidity.

“Reliability is key” says Stuart. “We opted for a direct replacement and didn’t even consider using anyone else. This is our most critical storage area and as such we need a system we can trust. We know we can rely on the Munters units.”

The system has bought on supply only terms, with Floranova’s own electrician easily installing this replacement unit.

Stuart Walpole summarises:

“Overall I’m really impressed. The new system is far more energy efficient. It easily does exactly what it’s required to do, and it is exceptionally reliable. It maintains consistent conditions. I’m very happy”

Hurtige fakta

  • Precisely control relative humidity levels in critical seed storage area
  • More energy efficient
  • Higher moisture removal capacity
  • Reliable solution

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