An early adopter of high-tech growing methods, Divemex is one of the leading producers of greenhouse vegetables in Mexico, supplying products to North America and the local market. In a location with hot summers, very high sun radiation, and some low temperatures in winters, year-round production has been their main concern since the start. Initially, in the mid 90s, an outside screen was installed on the first greenhouse for light and temperature control, and inside screens were used on the rest.
From March to August, Federico uses the aluminum reflection screens on a daily basis to cool off the greenhouse. Then in winter, they’re used at night to reduce the effects of sudden drops in temperature. He points out that without a screen, greenhouse temperatures in spring and summer can rise to over 35°C, and humidity can drop quite dramatically – far below the ideal level.
Federico: "By using SOLARO I see an improvement of over 4°C – so maximum greenhouse temperatures stay at around 30°C. To me, screening is the most flexible way of managing sunlight and maintaining a balanced temperature for my crop, because I just shade during the hours when radiation is at its highest – this way I don’t waste valuable light early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Flexibility is very important for us – when the plants are young they are very sensitive to the radiation. Then, when they reach the productive phase, they can assimilate more light. Having such a versatile protection system makes me confident that I will be able to meet my goals in productivity and quality."
Fuel cost is a real issue in winter
“My minimum temperature set point is 18°C, and in this location we can have some very cold nights. So even though the main purpose of an open screen is cooling, I find that the high radiation properties of SOLARO even help to save us some valuable energy at night.”
"We’re very proud to have the most advanced climate control technology here at Divemex, a case in point is our external screen system for solar radiation. In my opinion, this is the most efficient way of keeping heat out of the greenhouse."