Published 08/05/2018

Reducing energy costs is key for vegetable growing in North China

A 3.3-hectare high-tech greenhouse in Miyun, Bejing built by BUCG and HortiPolaris in January 2018, has since started production. The facility includes a tomato production area spanning 2.2 hectares, 2000m2 of lettuce, and a 2000m2 propagation area. Svensson screens are used to better control the climate and save on energy costs during the winter, which has helped to achieve the target yield and exceptional product quality.

 

The first harvest which began in early April and has produced tomatoes that are uniform in size and color, and have a highly favorable taste amongst Chinese consumers. Due to the professional climate and biological control utilized in the greenhouse, the safety of the produce is guaranteed.

Dan Xu, General Manager at HortiPolaris showed us the advanced technologies his skilled employees use to produce tomaotes and lettuce. When asked  about his experience with his Svensson climate screens, Dan was happy to elaborate on the topic further. “It was very cold this year in Beijing, but luckily we were able to use the climate screens for heat retention and energy savings. This year has already proved that our choice in the selection of our climate screens was the correct one.  Due to the light conditions our tomato crop demands, we selected a Luxous 1547 D FR, mainly for the screens energy saving capabilities. The transparent screen with diffusive properties allows us to prolong the screening hours before sunset and after sunrise without losing valuable light, which ultimately makes the greenhouse climate much more stable."

The climate conditions can vary greatly here as Dan Xu notes, “Although the Spring came in April, we experienced a hail few days ago. Facing a sudden drop in temperatures, we were able to use the Luxous screen during the day, keeping the greenhouse temperature warm while maximizing the usage of natural light.”

Miyun-tomatoes.jpg

60% energy savings

“Energy costs are one of the biggest concerns for vegetable operations in North China. Typcially, enery costs account for around one-third of the total greenhouse operational costs. Moreover, as the price of gas increases, we must consider efficiencies and our energy usage. It is hard to imagine how much more gas it would cost us without a screen. In the end, all the costs will be afforded by the consumers. Considering maximizing energy savings, we installed a Obscura 9950 FR W as a second screen layer. We use our Obscura screem as a tool for added energy savings in addition to preventing light pollution. For instance, at night in the winter, we closed the two screens together and the energy savings was up to 60%,” tells Dan.

Compared to the tomato, our lettuce crops needs more solar protection. Harmony 5747 FR was installed for its  shading, light diffusion and energy savings capabilities. Harmony works to diffuse the light, benefiting the crop by evenly spreading the light and enhancing the cooling effect. By combining proven growing techniques with advanced technologies such as screening, our tomato yield per year can reach up to 700,000kg and the lettuce yields can produce 700,000 heads.

Apart from commercial production, HortiPolaris is striving to build a platform to bring foreign technology to the current situation in China, increasing the level of knowledge and operational skills of those participants in the Chinese industry. As Dan concludes, “In the middle of April, our first training course for the tomato growing workforce was successfully completed. We believe that strong management and focusing in on the details is the key to success!”

Sign up for our newsletter