Floranova is a specialist in the breeding and supply of ornamental F1 hybrid plants and open pollinated seeds, supplying countries including India and China with parent 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, preserving them and preventing 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, quickly resulting in a damaged product and reduce the life of the seed.”
When correctly stored, the seeds can last anywhere between 2 to 20 years, depending on the seed’s breed or type.
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, 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
The ambient air outside of the seed store has a higher humidity level than the air inside. This means that that ambient air would enter the seed store through gaps in the store’s construction and enter when the door is open. This infiltration of air would increase the humidity level, and the seeds would start to germinate.
Combating the effects of high humidity, the dehumidifier takes the air inside the seed store and dries it using Munters desiccant rotor technology. This dry air is expelled next to the evaporator, which is then cooled and maintains the room at a constant temperature.
Creating the optimal environment
The temperature in this particular store is maintained to around 12-15 oC. The ML270 dehumidifier is used with a humidistat, which automatically turns on and off to maintain conditions 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.”
more information, visit munters.com