Strawberry growers regularly grow both in the greenhouse, on racks and in the open field. This results in different types of drain water. To be able to properly disinfect all that water, a flexible UV water disinfection unit is more than welcome, also in light of all, ever stricter rules. "The VGE ProfiClean Disinfection System makes growers future-proof," says Ruud van de Ven of VGE International that recently, together with Trintech B.V., installed a first unit in practice at VG Berry.
Continuously measuring water quality
VG Berry is currently building a new five hectare greenhouse, which required a bit of flexibility. VGE International was responsible for the dimensioning and delivery of the complete UV package for the project. Trintech provided the design and assembly of the machine, which includes the controls.
“An advanced PLC, a microprocessor, with touch-screen automatically controls the flow and continuously calculates the T10 value. This value indicates how much UV-C radiation still shines through the surface after 10 millimeters of water. Sensors continuously measure the water quality, after which, if necessary, the pump capacity is automatically adjusted so that the contact time becomes longer and the water is then still clean after disinfection. "
Pump speed automatically adjusts to water pollution
The VGE ProfiClean is modularly scalable and can process a maximum of 25 m³ / h of water at a T10 of 25%. "At VG Berry, the unit is now only used for an acreage of eleven hectares of cultivation on open field, but once the greenhouse is completed, that acreage can effortlessly be connected," says Ruud. “It is true that, certainly with the coco substrates that strawberry growers are using more and more often and that consequently leads to slightly more polluted drain water, the flow must be scaled back slightly for optimum disinfection with a radiation dose of 250 mJ / cm².
If the water is so dirty that clean water needs to be added, that is also possible. There is also an option on the installation to add hydrogen peroxide to strengthen the disinfection of the water.
Replace lamps while unit is in operation
Yet it is a fact that a disinfection unit eventually will become contaminated. This has been taken into account. "There is an automatic filter in the unit. Because an acid rinse is built in, the quartz glasses in the UV reactors are cleaned when they are contaminated," Ruud explains. “In addition, the UV reactors are equipped with the patented Smart-Pin Technology that ensures that the lamps can be exchanged without having to interrupt the disinfection process. In any case, a viewing window is fitted in to each lamp to monitor with a visual inspection whether everything is still functioning properly. All this means that the grower can rely on a continuously running unit.”