The industrial problem to be overcome is the irrational use of energy in Europe greenhouses. Today pot plants are produced in greenhouses with single layer g lass. The greenhouses are heated by oil, natural gas or district heating. Due to the very low insulating value of a single layer glass, the heat consumption per m2 greenhouse is 20 times higher than in a traditional house. A new type o f screen has already been developed which can substitute the single layer glass in greenhouses. If it is possible to combine this screen with a traditional in side energy saving screen, there will be an expected energy saving of approximately 65% compared to a traditional non-insulated greenhouse. This will not only reduce production cost per square meter greenhouse drastically. It will also r educe CO(2) emission in general and as a side effect, make production of vegetables and pot plants in greenhouses stronger, more flexible and cheaper.
The means to obtain these objectives is a combination of:
- energy saving (screens and heat trap, greenhouse design);
- heat storage (water reservoir);
- use of renewable energy (solar).
The methodology used is a bottom-up development process, starting with design of the main components, combine them into a system, integrate the system by developing the system regulation, and finally make sure it works by testing the total system. The project is a step by step process in five phases, where each phase is evaluated to be sure the development process is on track before the RTD tasks are continued into the following phases. A neigh boring ordinary green house acts as a reference green house with the same plant production at the same time. The innovative content of the project is the iteration and modification of greenhouse state-of-art technology into the LEC concept.
The main elements are:
1. Green house structure: A new shape of the green house structure is developed to meet the special requirements for the LEC concept;
2. Screen: Development of the special double layer screen to be a heat trap as well as cover;
3. Rain water heat storage: Development of a water heat storage for a green house based on heating from solar energy;
4. Software development: Development of a programme to regulate and control the entire system.
From an industrial and technological point of view, the project could if successfully completed, have an important impact on the energy consumption and C0(2) emission in connection with greenhouse based production considering the fact that:
- the innovative level of the LEC concept is high, since it contains several new combinations for a total green house system;
- the technology readiness of the used components are relatively high, since they are based on existing technology;
- the partners have a strong industrial and economic interest in exploiting the results of the project. This is an attractive combination promoting the possibility of success by getting the benefits of innovations.
The figures enclosed shows a European market of the following size:
- Energy consumption of European Greenhouses 746.025 TeraJoule;
- C0(2) Emission from European Greenhouses 66.176.796 Tons;
- Production value of European Greenhouses 28.551 Million ECU;
- Construction market size, European Greenhouses 102.424 Million ECU.
On a European energy basis, a successful development of the LEC -Greenhouse and implementation of this will eventually result in the following savings:
- Reduced energy savings for greenhouses in Europe 48.492 TeraJoule (6 times the yearly energy consumption in Danish nurseries);
- Reduced C0(2) emissions: 4.431.492 Tons (9 times the yearly C0(2) emission from Danish nurseries).
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
2676 BC Maasdijk