Toyota's VEGi-Dream; high efficiency greenhouse cultivation by using residual heat from car plant

A Japanese car manufacturer stepping into the greenhouse industry to produce peppers. 

It might be not a every day story, but Toyota Motor Cooperation got hit by the greenhouse flue and longed for a greenhouse. So the company build a first pilot 0.5 hectare greenhouse a few years ago and started to produce bell peppers for the domestic market. 

With the project, Toyota aims at making agricultural production more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Since more than 90 percent of the Japanese bell peppers are imported, the project led by Toyota Tsusho's Food & Agribusiness Division also aims at increasing the self-sufficiency of the population with agricultural goods. But maybe the factor 'making good money' is also involved.

After a successful pilot with the 0.5 hectare greenhouse, another two hectare second stage was constructed followed by another two hectare greenhouse more recently.

According to sources, the latest greenhouse is a state of the art complex built turnkey by Spanish greenhouse builder Asthor. It uses cogeneration and residual heat from a nearby Toyota automobile plant and the Dutch greenhouse constructor VB Group was responsible for the heating infrastructure between the plant and the greenhouse. The greenhouse is furthermore equipped with a buffer tank to store hot water and CO2 dosing system.

Because the greenhouse is built in a hazardous region in Japan, it's structure is designed to survive winds up to 180 Km/h and is strong enough to survive earthquakes and heavy snow. 

The structure has a gutter height of six meter and is equipped with double polyfilm with an air chamber inbetween. In order to save more energy, screening is installed. 

Toyota's VEGi-Dream opted for a screening installation with three screen. There is one screen for shading purposes. Another screen is used to save energy at night, which doesn't allow any light transmittance and another energy saving screen can be used during the day time. Next to this the greenhouse is equipped with a very thick shading blanket on the suide walls. This screen originated from Souh Korea. 

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