Published 05/10/2010

Company Curtails Heating Costs with Curtains

Willoway Nursery's two Svensson curtain systems offer the company a lot of flexibility when it comes to producing a variety of crops.

Willoway Nursery has been operating its 5.1-acre Rough Brothers glass greenhouse range in Huron, Ohio, for four years. Greenhouse manager and vice president Cathy Kowalczyk said the greenhouse’s two Svensson curtain systems offer the company a lot of flexibility when it comes to producing a variety of crops. Even more important is the fuel savings the company has realized.

“When we budgeted this facility four years ago, we figured a 30 percent savings related to those curtains,” Kowalczyk said. “With the biomass boiler we installed, we saved 75-80 percent, but that percentage is only realized because of the curtains.”

The energy curtain is also used as a black-out cloth for flowering early season garden mums.

Kowalczyk said the system’s shade curtain is a necessity in a naturally ventilated greenhouse.

“If I was in a glass greenhouse that didn’t have curtains then I would be either white washing the glass or placing some type of shade cloth over the structure to reduce light levels to keep from scorching the plants, especially during a summer like we had this year.

“The benefit of having the curtain is it’s opening and closing based on the natural light level. If I have a string of cloudy days, I’ve got the curtain open allowing in as much light as is available. I couldn’t do that with white wash or permanent shade cloth.”

     

Company-Curtails-Heatings-Costs-with-Curtains

The greenhouses are divided into six zones, with each zone able to maintain a different light level and temperature. This is particularly important for the diverse mix of plants that Willoway is growing, including the propagation of trees and shrubs, along with the production of annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, herbs, tropicals, garden mums and poinsettias.

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