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Van Uffelen Flowers

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Chrysanthemum growers Arcadia and Van Uffelen are definitively going to use 'The Next Generation Growing' at their nurseries in De Lier and Maasland. Technokas was asked to equip the companies with the air conditioning systems needed.

Van Uffelen’s greenhouse was designed and built by Technokas two years ago. The chrysanthemum nursery was also prepared to some extent for the installation of the climate system required by The Next Generation Grwoing. The Arcadia installation is part of a new project involving replacement and expansion at an existing site. The installation will suck dry outside air via the gable ends, possibly mix this with greenhouse air, and if necessary heat this locally until it reaches the indoor temperature. It will then be distributed among the cultivation departments with transparent hoses.

Portals in gable ends

Air handling units (AHUs) will be installed in the purpose-made portals in the gable ends. The greenhouses will be provided with manifolds and mix groups for the heating elements, where these do not already exist. In addition, the installations for sprinkling and lighting are designed in such a way that the air distribution tubes can easily be hung over the crops, and do not negatively affect the reach of the treated air from the holes in the hose. These greenhouses are also provided with a second energy screen.

Long-term testing

Arcadia and Van Uffelen decided to use this climate system as a result of the good results achieved with them in one of Arcadia’s other sites. Wageningen UR, Kas als Energiebron, DLV, Deliflor and other chrysanthemum growers have been testing this system for a long time. During prolonged tests with other crops, positive results in terms of controllability of climate requirements and energy efficiency have also been achieved using Technokas’ climate system.

Energy savings and a better climate

Growers expect the Technokas installation to help further improve the regulation of temperature distribution and relative humidity of the climate in a cultivation department. In addition to a more uniform climate, growers expect that this, in combination with the energy screens, will result in 15 to 30 percent savings in energy consumption. The technology is also expected to lead to even better quality chrysanthemums.

Source: Technokas. Photos: Fotostudio GJ Vlekke.

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Van Uffelen Flowers held an open-doors day to show off its newly delivered four-hectare chrysanthemum greenhouse at Herenwerf in Maasland on Saturday 16 April, together with its builders and installers.

The newly designed Greenhouse was built by Technokas. The greenhouse cover was executed in diffuse glass, with a haze factor of 70. Another interesting detail is the double screening system by Svensson (Harmony 2515) and Bonar (energy-saving blackout cloth), executed by Huisman Scherming. The lighting system was provided by Hortilux Schréder (1,000 Watt SON-T narrow-angle lighting fixtures, 10,000 lux), and the other water and electrical systems were by Stolze.

Next Generation Cultivation

The greenhouse is prepared for the installation of air handling units for mixing the air in the greenhouse with air blown in from outside, in accordance with the basic principles of Next Generation Cultivation. ‘This system allows the entire air content of a greenhouse to be complete renewed approximately once every hour,’ explains Hans van Tilborgh of Technokas. ‘It will not be replacing the air vents, but will comprise a useful addition to them.’ Before the outside air is blown into the greenhouse through a large hose, it is heated to the greenhouse temperature. This is to prevent climate differences in the greenhouse.

However, the system does not provide in heat recovery, like tomato grower Ted Duijvesteijn’s ID Greenhouse. ‘That would mean installing a much more complex system. It also saves energy. In combination with a double screen this greenhouse will allow us to save 30 to 40 per cent more energy than in a conventional chrysanthemum greenhouse,’ continues Van Tilborgh.

Production halls

In addition to the greenhouse, Technokas also supplied Van Uffelen Flowers with hoistable heating frames and production halls, designed by the Poortinga & Zwinkels architecture firm. According to architect Hester Poortinga, Van Uffelen aims to have its new building reflect the brand identity and values of Zentoo: transparent, unifying and innovative. Zentoo is the trademark under which Van Uffelen chrysanthemums are marketed. The chrysanthemum varieties are supplied by Fides and Deliflor.

Other technical tours de force at Van Uffelen Flowers are the Robur fully automated spray boom, the ISO Group peat block planting machine and the Bercomex harvester. Once harvested, the flowers are transported to the shed on underground conveyor belts. The cooling facilities with pre-cooling units were supplied by Hamelink Koeling BV.

Text/photos: Mario Bentvelsen.