UK: Cogeneration the way to grow on the Isle of Wight
Greenhouse consulting company Hebatrade was hired to supply and install the new energy systems at greenhouse operations on the Isle of Wight. In this project, the independent consultant worked in close contact with other parties such as P3P, Energy4Growth and CambridgeHok.
Right now, two new energy centres are being built at the Macketts and Arreton Valley of the former Wight Salads nursery sites. Each site will be powered by two 5.5MW Rolls Royce engines and back up boilers. This set up is a model taken from a previous project, APS Salads flagship nursery Europa, in Kent.
A 5,600,000 litre insulated heat storage tank will also be installed at each site, to store the excess heat produced by the CHP engines during the day, so that it can be utilized in the glasshouse when required, typically at night. Whilst the CHP engines are running they are also generating CO2 that will also be used in the glasshouse.
Hebatrade is responsible for design, supply and installing this system, as well as the interconnecting pipework between the backup boiler plant and the Rolls Royce engines, for high and low temperature heat requirements and CO2 distribution to the glasshouse.
"Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems are ideal for growers who are looking to improve how efficiently they operate, drive down costs and increase turnover- thereby increasing profitability," said Huib Herbert from Hebatrade. "Cogeneration is the simultaneous generation of electricity, balance the grid, CO2, and useful heat that can be stored and utilised when it is needed."
According to Herbert, CHP is very efficient as over 90% of the energy produced is recovered and used on site and in the glasshouse, rather than wasted in the atmosphere. "Another benefit is the CO2 generated by a natural gas fired CHP is significantly cleaner than the CO2 generated by a conventional gas fired boiler, and in comparison the CHP produces twice the amount of CO2 than a natural gas boiler which is useful to growers as it means they can introduce and maintain higher levels of CO2 without the excess heat, thereby increasing yields and the associated revenue. Therefore CHP systems are environmentally friendly and virtually wasteless."
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