Innovation, the improvement of products and systems, is a prominent theme in Bom Group’s history.
Below are described and illustrated in chronological order – from the present back to the start of the enterprise – our many trend-setting and successfully brought-to-market innovations.
The ISO++ screen installation is a double system in which both fabrics are installed just 6 cm apart. The installation is fitted in a W-shape and both fabrics are controlled separately. Two completely new ideas that have successfully been applied to significantly increase light and substantially reduce energy consumption.
The new screen system will be available from mid-2017 for all types of Venlo greenhouse.
The Winterlight Greenhouse is a new greenhouse concept that, in combination with a new type of screen, screen fabric and special glass, yields more than 10% light. The best performance is achieved with the screen system in the closed position, but even with the screen installation open, there is still a considerable increase in light. The exact cultivation results are expected in 2017.
The new integrated greenhouse concept was designed in collaboration with Wageningen UR, Ludvig Svensson, Bayer Cropscience and Glascom Tuinbouw.
The project was in part facilitated by the programme of Kas als Energiebron, the LTO Glaskracht Nederland’s innovation and campaign programme, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Next Generation Semi-Closed Greenhouse
Next Generation Semi-Closed Greenhouse
Bom Group has developed the Closed Greenhouse into the Sunergy® Greenhouse 2.0!
This Next Generation Semi-Closed Greenhouse has a good economic perspective and several advantages. The greenhouse air can be dehumidified in a controlled way, so that heat can be recovered. In the winter, the roof vents remain closed, and it is possible to keep the screen closed for much longer, so that no moisture gap is needed. In the summer, heat can be ‘harvested’ with this greenhouse and stored in aquifers.
The result is a substantial energy saving, which depending on the initial position may reach 30 to 40%.
Solar panel roof system
Our climate is changing, no doubt about it. Now there is an opportunity! In addition to low-energy greenhouses such as the SunergyHouse, the Bom Group has developed innovative solutions for harnessing solar power. Solar panels integrated into our advanced greenhouse roof glazing generate electricity, providing you with a good source of power, while at the same time reducing the carbon footprint of your business and allowing others to share your energy.
Bom Group created a new construction in 2007, offering major advantages for the ever-taller greenhouses being built. This Twinlight® construction received a nomination for the Horti Fair Innovation Award 2007.
The construction consists of a vertical greenhouse column with a framework rather than the traditional rectangular column. The framework columns are connected together horizontally. The vertical column tapers in towards the bottom, so that it is not wider than the dolly it rests on. The cultivation area thus remains the same.
In 2005, Bom Group realised the first Sunergy® greenhouse with an area of 1.5 ha at 'Van der Lans' in Rilland. This Closed Greenhouse originated from the development of the Greenhouse as Energy Source project.
During the Hortifair that year, the Sunergy® greenhouse received the prestigious Horti Fair Innovation Award!
The Sunergy® greenhouse features the following innovations:
- Closed Greenhouse® system from Innogrow
- Bom ACL Screen system, in which the screen fabric runs from side wall to side wall
- Special inlet and outlet system in the gable for the purposes of air conditioning
- AR (Anti-Reflection) treatment of the glass, which ensures added value.
The substantial increase in the transparency gives approx 6 to 7% more light.
- No roof vents at all in the entire greenhouse roof for a completely closed greenhouse.
The mounting of a stabiliser block between two pushing tubes prevents torsion of the push-pull tubes, so there is less wear of the ventilation mechanism.
Super-wide roof glass
Through more far-reaching mechanisation and refinement of the possibilities as regards glass width, the super-wide roof glass of 1.67 m was created. Three panes of this glass size fit in a 5.00 m section size.
This development also breathes new life into the application of toughened (frameless) roof vents. Through the use of toughened single-pane roof vents, applied in combination with the far-open ventilation system, once again a substantial light gain is realised.
Far-open ventilation system
To obtain a greater ventilation capacity as a result of better exchange between hot interior air and the colder exterior air by employing the ‘chimney effect’, a hinge system was developed through which the roof vents could be opened beyond the usual angle of approx 62 degrees.
Integrated cover strips
To allow glazing to be more glass-friendly and less breakage sensitive, plastic strips were developed. These strips are slid onto the aluminium roof bars in advance.
The plastic strips feature a soft co-extrusion, where the sharp edges of the glass make contact. They also prevent the formation of a cold bridge, so that energy losses are reduced.
L2 roof pane
An L2 roof pane is a ‘frameless’ roof vent, in which the frame is replaced through application of thermally-toughened glass.
This is a much-improved concept, in which the different fixing methods were examined in technical detail with respect to the previous toughened roof vents. By this means, smart fixing methods were developed for the push-up points on the glass and for the fixing of the glass to the roof vent hinge.
The entire concept was calculated out with the finite element method (FEM) and complies with the latest standards.
ABS screen system
Due to the demand for high-quality screen systems with pull wire drive, new materials and systems were developed. In this, a stainless spring steel wire is used for the pull wire rather than a steel cable, as it is less subject to stretch.
As connection element between the screen section and the pull wire, the ABS slip block is installed. In this way, the closure is optimal, the fabric package is always small, and equal moisture gaps may be achieved.
All this is independent of any expansion and/or contraction of the greenhouse structure.
Ecotec Greenhouse 93
The Ecotec Greenhouse 93 is an updated concept of the Ecotec Greenhouse 92. This greenhouse is furnished with an aluminium roof system and an aluminium gutter, both entirely developed in-house.
Retention of the separate drainage of rainwater and condensate is central to this.
The top of the gutter has a greater water capacity, so that the glass is less quick to run over and become dirty.
New glass distribution in bay roofs and end walls
By dividing up the glass in the bay roofs and end walls differently, concepts including that of 2/3 glass arose. In this concept all the bars lie exactly opposite each other, and the roof vents have with three panes. In this way there are no longer roof bars without contrabars, so that the constant-torque connection can be applied everywhere.
This yields a major improvement in the storm resistance in the edge areas.
Gaastiek is a simple and effective mesh seal for Venlo roof vents.
The integrated system was developed especially for these roof vents. The Gaastiek system is closed to insects, but open to let through light and for air exchange.
The system is only suitable for new-build, due to the necessary modification of the roof vent.
Ecotec Greenhouse 92
The principle of the Ecotec Greenhouse 92 is to maintain all the Venlo greenhouse’s positive characteristics.
In this greenhouse type, a new steel gutter with ‘condensate-proof’ gutter rims is introduced.
A revolutionary breakthrough in greenhouse building, due to the application of steel roof bars in combination with an integrated plastic glass profile. In this, clever advantage is taken of the strength of steel, which sags less than aluminium, and plastic is used for the glass profile. The plastic glass profile, whose rebates feature a soft co-extrusion, is insulating and very glass-friendly.
The Synchrocenter was developed for roof vents with more than two pushers. This simple development consists of an inventive clamp block, in which the two outermost pushers of the roof vent are clamped fast independently of each other.
In this way, the roof vent always stays exactly parallel to the roof bars and closes off the transom.
This means no more window gaps, which otherwise arise due to the pitch of the greenhouse.
With Synchrocenter, torsion forces in the push-pull tubes can be avoided, so that the wear on the ventilation mechanism is reduced.
Steel Plus Gutter
As an alternative to an aluminium gutter, a steel round gutter was developed, so that the rainwater can be drained away in the gutter. The curved gutter section features holes for fitting the roof bars, so that they can be attached to be both stormproof and in a fixed position. This design fully utilises steel’s greater strength.
Duo-Strip roof vent
Duo-Strip roof vents are an alternative to the toughened (frameless) roof vents. In these, standard (untoughened) glass is used, and the hinge and sill sections are linked together with threaded studs. Due to the absence of side and cross bars this once again provides increased light.
Lux-Plus ridge section
The substantially height-reduced Lux-Plus ridge section is a simple but most effective development. This ridge section has less than 50% of the original height, by which means once again a major light gain is obtained.
The ‘low’ ridge section is now part of the standard greenhouse roof!
PB Glass lifter
Through the use of ever-greater glass sizes and the Working Conditions (ARBO) policy, it is necessary to mechanise glazing methods and make them more worker-friendly and safer. For this, a glazing machine was developed in-house; it was brought on to the market under the name PB Glass lifter, and is still in use. This glazing machine is on the open market via a construction company.
The B Glass lifter represented the first step towards mechanisation in the glazing of greenhouses, this being progressed later with the current glazing platforms.
SP Plus Greenhouse
The most important of the techniques currently used that were developed especially for the SP Plus Greenhouse is the complete integration of the drives of both the ventilation mechanism and the screen system. The push-pull tubes for driving the ventilation mechanism are integrated into the top U beam of the truss. These tubes for driving the screen profiles are mounted below the gutter and run through holes fitted with bearings in the columns.
GT Greenhouse type
The integration of the screen system into the greenhouse structure always remains a challenge. The GT Greenhouse type was developed to obtain even more light gain in screened greenhouses.
In this design, the screen runs from gutter to gutter, rather than the generally-used system from truss to truss. As the screen package is integrated into the gutter section, it shades off hardly any light.
In totality a high-tech system, in which the integration of the ventilation mechanism due to the screening between the gutters demanded a well-thought-out solution.
Trolley Screen System
In the Trolley Screen System, a hollow thick-walled aluminium tube section drives the screen profiles.
By this means, the tube section is pushed along a pretensioned cable (from gable to gable).
Rack and pinions put the hollow aluminium tube (10 mm) into motion.
The screen profiles are linked to the hollow aluminium tube by a spring system. This achieves a perfect seal against the truss, and expansion and contraction differences in the greenhouse structure are accommodated.
This system is a predecessor of the later ABS system.
Multi-roll-up gable screen
The Multi-roll-up gable screen is a gable screen that can be rolled up in sections, and is entirely integrated into the greenhouse walls.
By making use of the wall purlins, the gable screen can be opened and closed in sections, independently of each other. The wall purlins form a kind of cassette
to protect the fabric and eliminate light loss.
PB Screen Greenhouse
The PB Screen Greenhouse was launched late in 1982 and early in 1983 was a prize-winner during the NTV Hortifair. In this greenhouse type, the construction is developed so that the screen system is an integral part of the greenhouse. This achieves a substantial light gain. The screens extend from truss to truss.
In the years after its introduction, significant detailed improvements were introduced to further refine the greenhouse’s positive characteristics. Bom launched a new generation of the PB Screen Greenhouse in 1986.
Ventilation rail mechanism
This development of the rail mechanism followed the rocker mechanism for opening and closing the roof vents.
In this type of mechanism, the push-pull rods are mounted on the truss.
An extra advantage is a reduction in the shadow effect (light gain). By mounting the push-pull tube on the truss moreover, the maximum number of roof vents per rail is increased.
The ‘tri-truss’ was developed from the notion of being able to install double screen systems simply. In the tri-truss, the mounting of the screen systems is done at the level of the top and middle beam.
In this way, the bottom beam remains free to support other installations, such as pipes for the logistical system and support hooks for the crop wires.
PB Column drain
With the advent of the PB Column drain, having drain pipes in the way on the inside of the gable is history. Without these obstacles, the screen system is entirely free to open and close right to the gable. In this way, the installation of shadow-causing and dirt-attracting seal strips is no longer needed.
During NTV ’82 (the Netherlands Horticulture Trade Show), the prototype of the round aluminium gutter was presented under the name ‘PB Energy Gutter’.
A revolutionary development in greenhouse construction due to its structure (torsion-stiff) and the use of aluminium. Until that time, mainly galvanised steel gutters (AP/APD/HI) were used.
The use of separate parts, such as gutter rims and fixing materials for the roof bars, is thus consigned to the past.
In 1986, Bom was granted a very valuable patent on the aluminium gutter. The aluminium gutter is characterised by the integrated gutter connection to the roof bars, the separate drainage of rainwater and condensate, and also the extra light throughput due to the narrow design. The use of aluminium gutters has in the meantime become the standard in the trade!
Bom End screen
From 1980, Bom has been focusing on the screen market as an independent installer. Due to the energy crisis, great demand for energy-saving measures such as screen systems and double-glazing systems developed.
From the objective of restricting the light loss as far as possible, screen systems have to be integrated into the greenhouse construction as far as practicable. This was the principle for the development of the new screen systems.
In the Bom End screen – running from gutter to gutter – use is made of cunning connector plates that connect precisely around the columns. The light loss is reduced as fixed screen fabric strips are no longer needed.
8.00 m truss greenhouse
In the past, greenhouses had a row of columns under every gutter. From the notion of creating the same possibilities as the traditional wide-span, but with the simplicity of the Venlo system, the 8.00 m truss greenhouse was developed.
This development of larger spans progressed at later stages with the 9.60 m truss (2 x 4.80 m bay width) and 12.80 m truss (3 x 4.27 m bay width). In this way greenhouse types suitable for cultivation of ornamental crops came into being.
The opening and closing of roof vents previously happened using a wire mechanism.
This system was not storm-proof: the roof vents could easily be opened by wind suction. To make the roof vents more storm-resistant and more accurately controllable, the rocker mechanism was developed as a successor to the sliding mechanism. In the rocker mechanism, the roof vents are linked together by push-pull rods. These rods are suspended from the ridge section with pushers. To open and close the roof vents, a drive system brings the push-pull rods into motion. This is a rocking motion, hence the name of the mechanism.
Storm-safe roof system
As a result of the severe storms in 1972 and 1973, which caused huge amounts of damage in glass horticulture, the weak points in the greenhouse construction were exposed. A system was developed by Bom at that time in which the roof bars are connected in a storm-proof way to both the gutter and the ridge section. This prevents wind suction blowing off the roof system.