Produce in a warehouse with temperature monitoring and control

Agricultural Temperature & Humidity Control

Growing and harvesting root vegetables takes a lot of money and effort. If stored incorrectly, the crop can be damaged, diminish in value, and even spoil. Thanks to advancements in environment monitoring and control, storage facilities have come a long way since the root cellar. Small-scale operations may include fans and an HVAC unit for basic temperature control and air movement. At an industrial level, facilities monitor and control temperature, humidity, airflow, CO2, and more with a variety of finely tuned equipment.

Industrial Ventilation Inc. (IVI) designs and builds storage facility control systems and equipment to be used for root vegetable crops. Supporting their impressive system was difficult due to complex hardware integrations. That’s why they turned to ControlByWeb.

When IVI created their next-generation product, they needed the right hardware to eliminate the problems from past systems—reliability, complexity, and a lack of flexible system architecture. Using our innovative and simplified control hardware, IVI improved reliability and dramatically simplified their control system integration.

Common Temperature/Humidity Problems

Problem X Icon
Failure Rates

System failure can be catastrophic for the crop, leading to significant financial loss through damage or spoilage.

Problem X Icon

Environmental control systems often require custom solutions and retrofits. Cookie-cutter systems simply don’t work.

Problem X Icon

Control hardware can be difficult to get working in unison, creating overly complex integration and resulting in failure.

ControlByWeb™ Solutions

Solution Check Icon

Our USA-made hardware is carefully engineered and expertly manufactured. We’re known for consistent reliability.

Solution Check Icon

ControlByWeb programmable controllers network, install, and communicate easily in either a master or a node role.

Solution Check Icon

With multiple, well-understood ways to poll data from our devices, communication becomes simple and integration streamlined.


Case Study: Industrial Ventilation, Inc. (IVI)

Potatoes, onions, and other root vegetables require very strict storage conditions to stay fresh. The main goal is to tightly control temperature, humidity, and ventilation to keep the vegetables in a stable, dormant state. Doing so protects freshness, reduces damage, and maintains weight. This is accomplished through an industrial HVAC system that uses as much ventilation from fresh air as possible while keeping temperature and humidity inline.

Equipment needs vary from one facility to another. One major variable is the storage method. Root crops are typically stored one of two ways:

  • Bulk: crops are stored in large piles. Bulk storage is faster to stock and fits a higher volume of produce.
  • Crate: crops are stored in stackable crates. Crate storage prevents bruising and offers better airflow, but takes longer to stock and won’t fit as much volume.

Optimal temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels keep crops fresh while maintaining their worth. These temperatures are between 32–40° F with a humidity level around 95%. Maintaining weight is very important as the vegetables are sold by the pound. If humidity is too low, vegetables like potatoes will suffer significant shrinkage. Shrinkage directly affects the bottom line and even a small amount has a big impact on revenue. Precise monitoring and control are required to maintain optimal conditions and avoid loss.

Precise Monitoring and Control

Thad Failor is the control system designer and developer with Industrial Ventilation, Inc. (IVI). He needed control hardware that could reliably automate his industrial scale environmental control system with great precision. The integration needed to be fully custom, as simple as possible, and flexible. He found it with ControlByWeb.

With our hardware, Thad monitors and controls storage ventilation equipment where he can see and manage temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels. Additionally, he always knows the current state of all his equipment. This gives IVI customers full visibility and finely tuned automated and manual control. From one control panel, the end user can monitor temperature humidity, and CO2. Fresh air is ventilated into the storage building through open doors and inside vents. Fans blow outside air into the building through doors that open and close as needed. The vents are either on the floor underneath the crop piles or on the walls throughout the building.

“The whole system together gives the storage manager the tools they need to be able to successfully store the product at the optimal conditions” – Thad Failor, IVI

IVI Imperium Panel Features

  • Monitor and control relative humidity and the CO2 with precision
  • Multiple timed runs
  • User-defined settings
  • Cooling and heating target set points
  • Timed setpoint CO2 control
  • Two types of dehumidification controls
  • Multiple bay master/slave control
  • Forced timed purges
  • VFD automatic control
  • Illuminated auto/manual override switches

Flexible Integration

The primary control hardware within the Imperium panel is a group of ControlByWeb IIoT devices. They monitor temperature, humidity, and CO2 throughout the facility, controlling sprinklers, doors, ventilation fans, heaters, and coolers. The climate around the building is also monitored. Together, these systems achieve the perfect temperature.

ControlByWeb Products Used in Panels

  • X-600M – A master controller capable of monitoring and controlling over 1,000 I/O
  • X-12s – An 8-relay expansion card
  • X-15s – An 8 digital input expansion card
  • X-16s – An 8 analog input expansion card
  • X-417 – An analog output module (3 outputs)

The value, reliability, and flexibility of ControlByWeb products allows them to be installed wherever a connection needs to be made, while keeping these systems running with very minimal down time.

A major feature of our products is the intuitive onboard logic and their ability to function independently without the need for additional software. However, their flexibility also allows them to fit into any system and be controlled through custom software. Every product is as simple or complex as the application requires.

In the case of IVI and their Imperium board, they have decided to keep all logic on their software. They use HTTP GET requests to pull JSON files with system and sensor data, and then send commands to our hardware to activate the rest of their equipment. This isn’t the typical use case, but the ultimate flexibility of our products allowed IVI to integrate with their software in a way that worked best for them.

The X-600M is the master controller and has I/O provided via the expansion cards (X-12s, X-15s, X-16s) and the X-417 connected to it.

Instead of programming each X-600M on every panel that they produce, our devices deliver information to their software, and the logic within their software produces commands. With these commands, the X-600M can then trigger equipment to activate and lower temperature, raise humidity, etc. Such flexibility allows ControlByWeb products to be used in a nearly infinite variety of solutions.

Industry-Leading Reliability

When IVI created their older Centurion panel—the predecessor to their Imperium panel—they used ControlByWeb products to send email notifications of failures. As Thad researched components for the Imperium, he determined ControlByWeb products would be a good fit for their new system. Our products proved to be so reliable on their own that IVI revamped old panels to include our units. This change replaced the “middleman” controller and resulted in a smaller package that saved space inside the panel.

Our products will still send failure notifications out in case of downtime—but the failures have virtually disappeared. Thad said, “the hardest part is having to train my guys to handle worst-case scenarios, and then they never actually deal with any of them.” While training is certainly important, we’re glad to keep his repair technicians a little rusty. We are happy to provide IVI with controls they can trust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shopping Cart