The green growers can be economically viable while being environmentally responsible by smartly investing in technologies that reduces cost.
Having a greenhouse means keep temperature constant come what may. So greenhouses require heating even in Australia. If you are lucky enough to have access to natural gas, then the best option for heating the greenhouse would be using the infrared heaters.
Seedling Systems in Glenbrook near Auckland in New Zealand is one of the companies that decided to partner up with Hurll Nu-Way Energy New Zealand to try this alternative. They needed to heat the greenhouse the size of 40 x 40 meters split into four bays of 40 x 10 meters and each bay requires a range of temperature. Instead of using traditional boiler system feeding hot water to the pipes running through the greenhouse, Seedling Systems decided to use infrared heaters.
Comparing the initial cost, Seedling Systems saved thousands on the large amount of pipework and pipe materials that a large boiler would require. Hurll Nu-Way Energy proposed Roberts Gordon Infrared Heaters for quick and easy installation.
Our experts also made it possible to program heat intensity and operating times in Roberts Gordon Infrared Heaters to enable control of the temperature and energy usage for optimal efficiency. This was an essential requirement of Seedling System.
Another feature of Roberts Gordon Infrared Heaters that convinced Seedling System to stray away from the tradition was the heating process these infrared heaters use. Infrared heaters mimic the sun by directing its heat directly to the plant and not the air around the plant. This consumes less gas, therefore lowers the on-going cost significantly. Lastly, Roberts Gordon Infrared Heaters can last for at least 2 decades with very low maintenance cost. It is durable and reliable, which means it does not break down easily. This means Seedling System is able to have healthier plants with low on-going cost.
What about those greenhouses with no available natural gas resources?
As natural gas is not always available, greenhouse owners are facing the necessity to heat with oil burners. Burning fossil fuel is very expensive. Heating greenhouse with waste oil or biofuel could be a better option, as used oil is a considerably cheaper fuel.
HNW range of Waste oil burners was able to solve this problem. The Nu-Way Waste oil burner and a 2.7MW boiler were able to warm up 1-hectare greenhouse growing cucumbers. In another case, they’ve installed a Bentone B45MF waste oil burner for the boiler to heat the greenhouse growing tomatoes near Auckland. These waste oil burners can burn used engine oil, vegetable oils, bio-diesel, hydraulic oil, bio-oil, waste cooking oil, gearbox oil, rapeseed oil and blends. In fact, these waste oil burners have been designed and approved by the stringent European standards for their energy saving and compatible with environmental requirements.
There is a way to sort your energy needs and deal with waste: Anaerobic digestion (AD). For a good example here we would need to go as far as to Great Britain, where a farm turned their waste generated by 12 hectares of glasshouses and 800 hectares of outdoor salad vegetables into energy used both to heat and light their greenhouses, with the excess sold to the national greed. The family-owned business invested in the Anaerobic Digester Plant. Anaerobic digestion allowed producing biogas (methane) used for heat and power, and CO2. Carbon dioxide was pumped into the greenhouse to aid photosynthesis, which increased their tomato production by 20%, while digestate was used as a fertilizer, inhibiting plant diseases, protecting soils from erosion and providing nutrients for plant growth.
We used the UK producer as an example due to the fact that anaerobic digestion is not yet widespread among Australian or New Zealand green growers. On the other hand, our wastewater treatment facilities have been using the AD for many years. Recent improvements in technology allow achieving financially viable results and quicker return on investment with higher biogas yield and lower maintenance expenses, which is surely going to lead to the resurrection of this old technology and its wider use among fruit and vegetable growers.
Our company can help you rethink your approach to heating your greenhouse and to handling your farm’s waste and select the option to fit your specific conditions. Call today to discuss with our experts.