Announcements

Job offersmore »



Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




System can make greenhouse energy self sufficient for 90%:

Solar system uses Fresnel lenses to heat greenhouse

Using a special lens to magnify the light in order to harness the sun's energy, Sika Energy's system has the potential to cover up to 90 percent of a greenhouse's heating needs. The Fresnel lenses, which concentrate energy from the sun into a focal point, heat water inside a pipe to a high temperature. The heated water is then transferred to a reservoir tank that growers can use to heat the greenhouse during the day and throughout the night.



 

“The system can heat water up to 90 degrees Celsius,” said Sika Energy's Cees Kattenberg. That temperature can be achieved because of the type of lenses Sika uses. In early trials, Kattenberg explained, more typical lenses were used, but they were bulky, expensive and couldn't generate enough heat to justify their drawbacks. They turned to Fresnel lenses, which are lighter and generate more power because they concentrate the sun's rays into a single point.



“The lenses we use are basically magnifying glasses,” said Kattenberg. “They burn in a line.” Further boosting the energy captured from the sun, the lenses rotate from East to West, following the path of the sun, and the pipes full of water on which the lenses are mounted rise and fall with the position of the sun in the sky. Kattenberg noted that they continue to run trials with the system, and an upcoming project has given them the opportunity to experiment with new features.

“We're working on a project that will have a bay that's over 100 meters long, and it will have nine lenses,” said Kattenberg. It will be Sika's first commercial project, and it will be installed in a bedding plant nursery. Future trials will include lenses that are twice as large that have the potential to heat the water in the system up to 180 degrees Celsius.


Cees Kattenberg at the 2013 OFA Short Course in Columbus, OH.

Kattenberg touted the cost-efficient nature of the system, noting that the cost to set up the system is a fraction of that of other solar energy systems. The lower investment for a big energy payoff is what makes the system so attractive. “The good thing about the system is that it works anywhere there's sun, even when it's cold out,” said Kattenberg. “As long as the sun shines, we can get energy.”

For more information:
Sika Energy USA
Cees Kattenberg
Dutch American Greenhouse Builders LLC
4653 North County Road 45
Owatonna, MN 55060 USA
dutcham@dutch-am.com
http://www.sika-energy.com/gb/index.html

 

Publication date: 7/26/2013
Author: Boy de Nijs
Copyright: www.hortidaily.com

 


 

Other news in this sector:

10/20/2017 The chemical that tells plants when it’s time to sleep
10/19/2017 Space greens beat the blues
10/18/2017 Vietnam: New high-tech flower, vegetable project in Lam Dong
10/18/2017 Plant escape from waterlogging
10/18/2017 USDA invests in research on next generation of agricultural technology
10/17/2017 Japan: Smartphone camera used to estimate vegetable taste
10/17/2017 What you missed at the LumiGrow Expert Panel
10/16/2017 Dell takes a fresh look at IoT with Aerofarms
10/16/2017 "Empowering growers to see and control more"
10/13/2017 Illumitex launches new PowerHarvest series
10/12/2017 Webinar: How to grow vine crops with LEDs
10/12/2017 App lets users check taste and nutrients of produce before eating
10/11/2017 Plumbing in Hydroponics: How to Join Pipes
10/10/2017 New technologies at the service of the tomato industry
10/6/2017 USDA helping growers build success with new technology
10/4/2017 Augmented reality comes to the cannabis industry
10/2/2017 'Electric' nozzles have potential to improve accuracy of spray treatment
9/28/2017 LetsGrow.com heatmap provides new insight
9/27/2017 Argus Controls featured in EDEN ISS project
9/26/2017 Understanding canopy and micro climate