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"Include energy management in your complete business model"

"In our industry, every supplier looks at his own challenge, but sometimes the overall sight of a greenhouse project is lost. By predetermining what the complete energy management of a greenhouse will look like, it is possible to optimally organize a project." That seems like a very logical step, but the consultants of Hebatrade/ Vijverberg Advies notice this does not always happen.

Last year, British company APS Salads took over the nursery Wight Salads. They immediately started the modernization. The new owners decided to work with CHP and heat storage and wanted to place LED lights in the greenhouse dating from 1998. To achieve this, the energy routing had to be adjusted. For example, the growth tube had to be reversed and they looked at four CHPs. Huib Herbert of Hebatrade was closely involved with this project: "How do you store the heat, what type of energy supply do you choose, and above all: how does the crop behave in these new circumstances?" All questions that were answered before even one adjustment was made to the greenhouse. "By linking the cultivation needs to the energy system, we can map out the complete energy management beforehand. This is how we pursue the ideal conditions for a nursery."

The LEDs at Wight Salads

Based on facts
The consultants of Hebatrade apply this strategy to all projects they are involved in, both the new and the existing greenhouses. "Depending on for instance the growing location, the greenhouse crop and the supply of heat and CO2, we determine what installations should be placed there. This allows us to minimize the resources required for cultivation and grow more sustainably." It seems like a logical step, but according to Herbert this still does not happen that often. "The installer looks at the installation, the screen supplier at the screen and the greenhouse builder at the greenhouse. Individually the horticultural suppliers are very progressive, but everyone focuses on their own aspect of the technique. The full picture is ignored." As an example, he points at the glass choice alone. "91+ glass is fantastic and seems like the most logical choice, but without a roof washer it’s no use. Then you can better go for 89. Occasionally it is necessary to step back and take a look at the whole."

Wim van der Ven, Kees Vijverberg, John Looije, Huib Herbert, Anita Herbert, Leon van Santen

Better project, less energy
As an independent consultant, Hebatrade first distills the facts and maps out the entire project. "Ultimately, a better product can be produced with less energy. You get the most out of your resources: deliver better quality and get a better footprint." With these activities, the company has grown to six employees in recent years. In the Netherlands, they have run projects at Boer & Den Hoedt and Koppert Cress. The consultants are also well represented in the UK, and operate in the Norwegian, American and Swiss markets as well. "You have to know a market and have good local partners to be able to operate in a market," says Herbert. "Operating worldwide is not our goal. The rules and laws are different everywhere anyway, and the way of doing business also varies. You need local partners and need to take time to get to know the market."

For more information:
Oude Liermolenweg 2
2678 MN De Lier
The Netherlands
Phone +31 (0) 174 610 586
[email protected]
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