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IDC Greenhouse as Energy Source follow-up

The Innovation and Demo Centre (IDC) Greenhouse as Energy Source at Wageningen UR Glass Horticulture in Bleiswijk will have a successor in 2013. The roof of the VenlowEnergy Greenhouse will shortly be replaced with double glass with anti-reflection coating. The Sunergy® greenhouse will be converted to a Next Generation Semi-Closed Greenhouse. The tomatoes have already been planted in both greenhouses, and the technical systems are running. The third greenhouse at the IDC Greenhouse as Energy Source is the Daylight Greenhouse, specifically for pot plant cultivation. This study is a follow-up to the study in 2012.


Last week, researchers Feije de Zwart, Jan Janse and Frank Kempkes explained the plans. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Product Board for Horticulture are financing this research in the context of the programme Greenhouse as Energy Source.

This IDC facility is a location where the latest technology is tested and exhibited to the sector. The aim here is to develop greenhouse concepts where clever production is combined with minimal consumption of fossil energy.


1.    Principles

The principles of the IDC are:

  • Coordinate the greenhouse climate with the plant’s needs.
  • Keep the greenhouse closed as much as possible during the heating season using active dehumidification with recovery of sensible and latent heat.
  • Make clever use of screens with different characteristics.
  • Use air movement to maintain high humidity in a safe way and thus minimise the evaporation during the heating season.
  • Use low-grade heat. The water will seldom be hotter than 40 °C and never over 50 °C.
  • Base the heating on a heat pump with a small CHP unit (50 to 150 kW per ha). This combination represents the greatest conversion efficiency from primary energy to economically valuable commodities (heat, electricity and CO2 for crop growth).
  • Make as much use as possible of sunlight, and make the sunlight diffuse, so that the plant can use it more efficiently.    


2.    Expected result

The final energy consumption of the greenhouses at the IDC Greenhouse as Energy Source:

  • Next Generation Semi-Closed Greenhouse: 18 m³ per m² per year
  • VenlowEnergy Greenhouse: 12 m³ per m² per year
  • Daylight Greenhouse: 6 m³ per m² per year

Source: Energiek2020

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7 Mar 2013