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Greenbalance: the first Dutch greenhouse with SmartGlass

The tomato plants are growing well in the new greenhouse of Dutch tomato grower Zwinkels at their Greenbalance location. "We planted in week 36 and the sixth truss is now blooming. One and a half truss a week," says Mark Zwinkels. The greenhouse is the first in the Netherlands that has SmartGlass installed on the roof.

With the expansion of four hectares, Zwinkels Tomaten has grown to twenty hectares in total. Of these, sixteen hectares can be found at one location. "In the Westland," says Mark. "I think that is great - sixteen hectares at a location in the Westland. That was a project that we wanted to complete and now we have succeeded." Nobutec has built the greenhouse and finally, four weeks ago, we saw the first plants entering the greenhouse and in a month and a half the first Sunstream tomatoes can be harvested.

For producer organization Prominent, is market-driven production - and thus year-round - an important point. The new greenhouse is equipped with lighting: 180mmol SON-T, from Agrolux. Did you consider LED? "Not for the time being," Mark says. "We may install LEDs later. For now we are very pleased with the installation that we have at the other location. With LED, we may be able to get more out of the crop, but it has to be financially sound."

He also describes the greenhouse as "fairly basic" - but that remains to be seen. The 6.20 meter high structure is outfitted with SmartGlass with high haze and double AR coating. The main property of this glass is that the haze reduces and the glass becomes brighter when it is humid. Precisely in the autumn and winter period, light transmission increases. In the Netherlands, Zwinkels Tomaten is the first producer that selected this product from Glascom. 

"In Poland there are already 100 hectares installed with it, we are the first in The Netherlands," Mark confirms. "We have looked at the properties, which we like. Just a bit more light in the period that it is needed."

Anyway, the plants are looking fine at the moment. "Of course, we need to see how it works. The glass is relatively costly, but we think it's possible to be profitable - and that's what it's all about. Now, the effect of the diffuse glass is mainly the lack of shadow. When the greenhouse was still empty, you had to put on your sunglasses when the sun started shining. Then the light was very intense," he laughs.

The greenhouse is equipped with a light reduction screen and fa├žade screens of Peter Dekker Installaties. Greenbalance has also chosen Verti-Fans to direct the heat of the lighting downwards. The water system in the new building is kept separate from the previously built section. In the existing water technical space, water is pumped to separate storage facilities, allowing the new building to run on its own recipe. The drain water is also separately collected and disinfected using a Priva HD-UV unit. The drain channels are from Formflex and Verkade Verwarming realized the heating system. T. Stolze Installatietechniek BV is the installer of the water and electrotechnical installation as well as lighting at the Greenbalance.

The construction of the greenhouse started in February 2017 and in week 36 the tomato plants were planted. It is expected that the first Sunstream TOVs can be harvested in about five weeks.

For more information:
T. Stolze Installatietechniek B.V.
Bandijkweg 22
2676 LJ Maasdijk
T: +31 (0)174-513779
Email: [email protected]

More information:
Glascom Tuinbouw
Honderdland 30 
2676 15 Maasdijk 
Postbus 22
2670 AA Naaldwijk 
Tel. (0174) 510 082 

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