Active control of the homogeneous climate means optimal crop production 24/7
Developments in the field of greenhouse construction are ongoing. This also applies to the climate within the greenhouse. KE GrowAir and Orange Climate Agri are seeing an increasing interest in the creation of optimal cultivation conditions and, specifically, the homogeneous air distribution needed to realise this. And we are not only talking about greenhouses in traditional greenhouse horticulture areas but also urbanised areas and/or areas where the climate is a too hostile for food production, for example. Looking for a worldwide crop production guarantee 24/7?
From the very beginning, greenhouses were designed to provide a protected environment anywhere in the world and to grow products locally that would not normally thrive due to the outdoor climate. With the advent of LED lighting, daylight is no longer a necessity. The ultimate production location is a semi-closed system over which growers have almost complete control and can grow their crops optimally. According to KE GrowAir and Orange Climate Agri, the ideal production location is made of glass but a vertical farm without daylight is another option. In either case, it is about creating an optimal climate for optimal production at the lowest possible cost and producing the highest possible yield. For a 24/7 crop production guarantee, optimal temperature and humidity control is central to achieving the optimum yield, together with the right mix of light, nutrients and CO2.
Benefits and challenges
The challenges of a semi-closed system are that it has to be controlled differently than people are used to, you must keep the crop active and you need a good mechanical ventilation and circulation system to create the climate. As a specialist in the homogeneous distribution of air, KE GrowAir sees that there are many gains to be made in this respect. Often, the desired amount of acclimatised air is introduced but if it is not distributed properly, the undesirable effects are actually exaggerated. With GrowAir® air distribution hoses, we see that the horizontal and vertical temperature gradient is smaller than with currently available air distribution hoses and is therefore better able to homogenise the climate. In addition, closed systems offer the advantage that by keeping the production location closed, your CO2 use is higher and disease control is kept to a minimum or even completely unnecessary. The result of all this is significantly improved production.
With KE GrowAir and Orange Climate Agri, the only technology installed is that which is necessary for the specific purpose of the operation. This can save growers substantial amounts of money, as they are not obliged to invest in additional technology that they do not need. We are also looking at the efficiency of the technology, in terms of which there are many gains to be made. The GrowAir air distribution hose has been proven to require 3-5% less energy to introduce the same amount of required air into the greenhouse as the much-used double hoses. And by using a cross-flow in the air handling unit, for example, no CO2 is lost when outside air is used for cooling. In short, due to these technical and economic advantages, KE GrowAir air distribution hoses and Orange Climate Agri air handling units are an extremely strong combination in practical terms.
No more concessions need to be made when it comes to the optimal homogenisation of the climate, which is what you want as a grower. Too often, when purchasing a greenhouse, only the price of the greenhouse is looked at and savings are made on the air distribution system. This is remarkable, because it is with precisely this technology that you make the difference as a grower. For growers looking for an optimal growth climate, energy savings, CO2 conservation and guaranteed crop production 365 days a year, a visit to stand 8.126 at Greentech (12 - 14 June, RAI Amsterdam) is an absolute must.
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