There are many methods available to help growers save energy, but the fabric of the grow environment itself is often overlooked. However, as the ongoing energy crisis continues to put a squeeze on profit margins, this simple approach is becoming increasingly vital. There are plenty of retro-fit options that can cut energy use (and costs) and optimize the glasshouse climate for specific crops.
Installing sensors is a relatively simple step to measure energy use, temperatures, and humidity. Once the data has been collected and analyzed, it allows you to make informed decisions about other potential changes.
Energy screens have been widely used by growers for years because they can help control humidity and achieve a uniform growing environment. But if they’ve been in constant use, the screens may suffer from gaps and tears in the material, reducing their energy-saving effectiveness.
New screening systems benefit from the latest light-transmission technology and are made from modern energy-saving materials, saving more heat energy and emitting more light levels when deployed.
With a wide range of screen materials and different thicknesses available, simply switching to an updated version could deliver significant performance improvements.
Obviously, the cost of replacement varies depending on the glasshouse dimensions and age of the system, but the existing mechanical parts do not usually need to be changed, so replacing the old screen materials should modernize the entire set-up.
If you don’t already employ side screens, using them in conjunction with overhead screens can help overcome humidity and temperature variations. Switching to LED lightbulbs can also produce staggering savings – and does not always require the fittings of existing lighting systems to be upgraded.