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Caeli unit can now ventilate and dehumidify existing greenhouses

Last year saw the first grower starting to use Caeliā„¢ fans. Van der Avoird Trayplant's new greenhouse in the Netherlands is where this large-scale pilot launched. These small but very powerful fans regulate the greenhouse climate by each controlling the climate, thus creating a very high degree of uniformity. The units move the air but also help dehumidify it. "Our algorithm can now homogenize moisture as well as the temperature," begins Sven van Heijningen, R&D manager at Alcomij.

That is not the only news of the year. Alcomij's R&D department has also found a way to install these units in existing greenhouses. "The Retrofit system uses an aluminum duct to mount the units against existing columns in the greenhouse." Thus, with this minimal modification, growers can fairly easily integrate this system into existing greenhouses.

Caeli units at Van der Avoird.

More flexible
Placing the units in aluminum profiles makes the fans fit even better. "There is thus minimal leakage past the fan. This solution also means we're no longer limited by column placement," says Sven. This solution for existing greenhouses also lets you place the units against the wall. "This development increases flexibility and thus applicability."

Air ducts
Since columns in existing greenhouses are often not suitable for air passage, this requires a slightly different approach. Hence, these aluminum ducts that Alcomij manufactures in the Netherlands. With over half a century of know-how and experience in greenhouse cover systems, they are well-versed in this. "We attach these air ducts to the bottom of the existing greenhouse column with a single bolt. So, it can't sink," Sven explains. They also use stainless steel cable ties at the trellis for column support.

Sven with the Retrofit version at GreenTech 2023.

Screen funnel
To reach the top of the greenhouse as effectively as possible, an optional screen funnel can be integrated into the system. The fan unit draws air from above the screen cloth, after all. "The narrow funnel reaches past the screen."

The Caeli solution's central premise is that the screen need not be modified in any way. It requires a little more than a new build, but it is certainly possible with an existing structure. According to the R&D manager, you can use the Caeli solution for existing greenhouses with screen systems where screen cloths can be quickly changed via rails.

The greenhouse's light retention was also carefully considered. That is especially important for high m2 production crops and those where the one percent more light equals one percent more production rule applies.

In short, with the Retrofit system's arrival, all the patented Caeli greenhouse solutions advantages are within reach for existing structures. "You can now use Caeli's sophisticated monitoring and control network, unique in modern greenhouse construction, in these greenhouses, too," Sven concludes.

An example of a heatmap.

And, thanks to the units' fairly straightforward assembly and plug-and-play principle, the system can be used problem-free in any existing greenhouse and situation.

Air movement lets the Caeli unit create a uniform climate. The algorithm now also includes moisture homogenization.

For more information:
Email: [email protected]

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