Tebarex launched a new concept: Next Level Design (NLD), at the GreenTech trade show in Mexico. It will be presented at GreenTech in Amsterdam too. "We launched that in Mexico because we find a lot of water and electrical systems there that aren't always well designed or constructed. People buy an expensive greenhouse but then pay (too) little attention to a well-designed I&E system. If you invest in a good design and proper construction right away, you can save a lot of annually recurring costs."
John lists several issues improper design - using too-small pipe diameters in calculations, which allows you to offer a cheaper installation without considering how it is laid - can cause. "That leads to problems like hydraulic shock, breaking valves, pumps that run dry, broken mains - all sorts of technical issues. And these usually happen at exactly the wrong time," he says.
Things can also go awry in electrical systems. "If you don't work that out properly, you accept more voltage loss than is allowed. That directly affects the lifespan of components like electronics, switches, and motors. They fail sooner."
NLD lets you design the system in a 3D environment. "You can use a modern tool to calculate cable resistance. Clients benefit because the design is done right the first time. It uses Dutch knowledge and technology, so an installation should be able to run problem-free for many years," John continues.
Opting for quality
John emphasizes the importance of opting for quality. "Why would you want to go for the cheapest solution when you have the option of a long lifespan and reliability? Especially in a country like Mexico where growers are becoming increasingly demanding?"
John sees an increase in this awareness. "We're currently working on four simultaneous projects in Mexico. We work directly, and regularly, with a local greenhouse builders," he says.
In the search for quality, John points out different design methods. "Our colleagues all have their way of designing and calculating. What matters is: how do you apply it, and how do you deal with the tolerances? We try to apply the know-how and experience we've gained in Dutch horticulture abroad without compromising quality or design principles."
The calculations include everything, from heating and cabling to rainwater drainage and CO2. "NLD lets us create a complete above- and below-ground design that includes everything that will be laid out in the field. The concept has already been put into practice in England on a 22-hectare project. By using NLD, we've reduced the standard site supervisor-office communication by ± 80 percent; it runs much smoother this way."
The UK project, Ely Fenland, began in March 2021 and was completed earlier this year. That 22-hectare greenhouse near Cambridge houses tomatoes and cucumbers, with ten hectares of lighting. Tebarex provided the water and electricity systems using the method now known as NLD. "We've now named what we learned in England. We introduced it in Mexico because this is exactly where we can greatly improve the irrigation and electrical design," John concludes.
Tebarex will be at GreenTech, in the RAI in Amsterdam, from June 14 to 16, at Stand 02.332.