Bruno Govaerts on the 365-day challenge of climate control at Hydrofoods in Mexico

Hydrofoods is one of the companies with greenhouses at the Agropark complex in Queretaro, Mexico. Their current expansion will make them the largest in the group. Hydrofoods’ mission is to produce tomatoes and peppers all year round for the specialized domestic and international markets, and they are prepared to make the necessary investments in technology. Already, glasshouses and state-of-the-art climate control systems are in use at Hydrofoods.

"Coming to this project I knew that the biggest challenge was going to be the extreme changes in the climate on any given day. During winter nights we see very low temperatures, and yet in the middle of the morning we can hit radiation peaks close to a 1,000 w/m2 – all in the same 24 hour span. So our target has always been to keep these variables under as much control as possible. We need to keep on checking the energy consumption while maintaining humidity and ideal light levels.

A closed aluminum screen - in my opinion - is a must-have
Our goal during the Queretaro’s winter is to reduce nighttime energy consumption as much as possible. That’s why I think a closed aluminum screen is essential. And because of the flexibility it offers to maximize light levels on my plants during the day. Thanks to the TEMPA screen, I can do all this without creating humidity problems for my crop. On hot summer days we have the opposite story. Humidity drops dramatically during some days so we use our aluminum TEMPA screen to reflect some of that light back and avoid white washing as much as possible. Of course, I haven’t seen a tool that is able to fix all the problems and challenges that we come across – but I find that the screen gives us a better and more flexible chance of managing each day as it comes.

I’ve been in the growing business for a long time and I’ve learnt that flexibility is a key word inside any greenhouse. No two days are ever the same, so we need products that allow my team to adapt as quickly as possible to the actual climate. In this respect I see no better tool than our Svensson energy screen. Ultimately, growing is a science and an art and we keep learning a little more about it each day. I think that’s why it makes our profession so rewarding."

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