Significant energy savings by investing in electronic climate system
”Our business exists today, because of our investments in energy savings,” answers grower and owner of Gartneriet Skovbrynet, Jeppe Aavang, when asked about the outcome of his investments in controller technology from DGT by Senmatic. And the energy savings are significant: from 150,000 cubic meters district heating in the early 2000’s to less than 48,000 cubic meters in 2020.
The Danish nursery Gartneriet Skovbrynet produces 1 million potted plants for the European market annually. To succeed with its ambition to produce potted plants of the best possible quality and shelf life, at the benefit of both business partners and end consumers, the nursery has invested in controller technology from DGT by Senmatic.
Particularly the fully automated climate control, a LCC4, is essential for control of the many factors impacting the climate in the greenhouse and, as a result, the product quality. The LCC4 climate control is also connected to another investment to save energy: new screens controlled automatically by the LCC4.
The investments and the savings from them have released finances to invest in other projects – means which would otherwise have been spent on utilities.
Automatic climate tailored to the cultures for high security
The LCCs control all climate functions. Operation is based on a simple menu, and the display shows the settings most frequently used by the growers. That makes it easy to automate elements with large impact on culture growth. The multiple possibilities for personal user settings means that the climate control’s actions are completely tailored to the cultures you produce – without you or employees having to remember all values and factors.
“The climate control acts as security to me. Previously, I would most likely give some of my cultures high temperatures to get make them ready for sale quickly and then growth regulate them using chemistry. Now, we don’t even use PGRs anymore, because I can choose an average temperature and be absolutely certain that it is followed to the letter with screens, shades, etc. I now know for certain that the culture is ready for sale in due time, and with our high product quality.”
“Before we always had some insecurity. What if something happened at 3 AM? Now, the climate control regulates all changes and with quick reaction time. That is why, I now dare having relatively low temperatures at night, and then the climate control acts based on that. And then chemistry is not needed. I have a slightly longer production time, but also a much more secure production and large savings in heat consumption.”Jeppe Aavang Owner of Gartneriet Skovbrynet
Intelligent climate results in savings
The electronic climate control has already proven its effect.
“We have experienced massive energy savings. Although it’s difficult to directly compare two years, as factors such as weather come into play, our energy use is significantly reduced. In the early 2000’s we used 150,000 cubic meters district heating. In 2020 we used less than 48,000 cubic meters,” says Jeppe Aaavang.
The reduction is due to the automatic control of climate based on specific factors and p-values, which Jeppe Aavang has typed into the computer.
The same is the case for the average temperature throughout the day. The climate control then calculates how temperatures should rise and fall during the day – for instance, the temperature is automatically lowered at night.
Prior to installing the automatic climate control from DGT by Senmatic, the optimal values were also known. But knowledge on the plants’ minimum and maximum values and how these could actively be used to obtain energy savings were first approached when working with the automatic climate control, because the control can use these factors to act as smart as possible.
“We knew that cultures could do with 10 degrees at night. But how about 6 degrees? That kind of knowledge is directly linked to cost savings and bottom line, when used actively in the climate control to utilize automation. You must of course have a strong basis of both technical and gardening knowledge to do so.”Jeppe Aavang
Savings free finances for new investments
With automation unnecessary expenses are cut and energy use reduced significantly. The savings achieved by investing in the climate system means that finances that would otherwise be earmarked for expenditures now can be spent on investing in other projects.
“In an older greenhouse as ours, it has been pure survival to invest in cost reductions. Both in terms of expenditures, but also because we achieve a better product and limit chemistry.”Jeppe Aavang
Start off well with climate control
Gartneriet Skovbrynet did not have previous experience with electronic climate control. They did however know DGT by Senmatic and decided to examine the many possibilities in the LCC4 climate control. In addition, they participated in an introduction program, where instructions to the program was thoroughly covered.
“We received great training and help, allowing us to start of well. If we have questions, we reach out to the technical support,” says Jeppe Aaavang.
About Gartneriet Skovbrynet
Gartneriet Skovbrynet is located in Odense, Denmark, and consists of 11,000 m3 glasshouses. The family-owned greenhouse has been in service since 1972. The greenhouse produces 1 million potted annually. The main cultures are Chlorophytum Comosum, Cyperus Zumula and Impatiens New Guinea.
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