Butterfly Orchids gets triple energy savings by switching to water-cooled LED
Butterfly Orchids is switching from HPS to LED after the summer. Phalaenopsis grower Gerben van Giessen has chosen Oreon’s water-cooled LED fixtures for this, in particular because of the huge energy savings. In addition to high efficiency, the water cooling technology will also save on energy costs for cooling and heating his greenhouse. “The switch to LED was inevitable and the water cooling options suit our crop and cultivation strategy perfectly,” says Van Giessen.
Stable climate with less energy
Phalaenopsis cultivation is energy intensive, because with flower induction happening at 19°C (66°F) and cultivation at 21°C (70°F), you need a lot of cooling. Phalaenopsis is a CAM plant that is native to warm regions. The stomata close during daytime to prevent dehydration, so the plant transpires very little during the day, and radiant heat from the lights causes the plant to heat up. This makes water-cooled LED lighting for Phalaenopsis even more attractive. LED lighting releases less radiant heat than HPS, and the heat released from these fixtures is removed from the top of the greenhouse by the water cooling system. That means less cooling and ventilation is needed on hot days. The water transports the heat to the under bench heating system, where it can be used much better. This saves energy on cooling and heating, resulting in a more balanced climate.
The plants will be illuminated by Empress fixtures (710W) at the vegetative stage, while Monarch fixtures (1000W) will be used for the generative stage. On average, 50% more light is being installed compared to the former situation with HPS lighting. Installation will be done by Indagro Lighting, using the existing C-profiles and cabling. Despite the new higher light level and the customized spectrum, a lot of energy will be saved. Because of these savings, Van Giessen will receive an EG subsidy for his investment in LED lighting.
Butterfly Orchids will illuminate with Oreon’s dimmable LED fixtures. Thanks to the dimmer function, the lights can be dimmed at any time of day, either individually, by group, or as a whole. This ensures the greatest flexibility: you can arrange for extra light exposure when it is cloudy or dark, and energy can be saved if there are high energy prices at certain times of day.
The greenhouse in the town of Andel, in the Dutch province of Brabant, covers about 3.5 hectares (8.7 acres). This is where the plants develop from cuttings into fully-grown plants in just over a year. Every week, around 50,000 plants leave the greenhouse an go to, among others, wholesale and retail destinations. The greenhouse has 3 CHPs, a boiler and a heat pump, and also stores the heat/cold in the ground. The grower used to get rid of that residual heat by opening the vents. Not only was that not sustainable, it also meant that the much-needed CO2 was lost. The orchid grower now harvests the heat from the greenhouse and supplies the low-grade heat (water of about 50°C/122°F) to the municipal swimming pool across the road. Van Giessen: “Oreon's water-cooled LED fixtures are therefore a perfect fit and the next step in our sustainable cultivation strategy. Initially, the residual heat from the lights will be reused directly in the under bench system, but in the future it can also be stored underground.”
Peter Barentsen, Sales Manager at Oreon, is very much looking forward to this new collaboration: “Butterfly Orchids is the first orchid grower to illuminate with 100% LED. We are convinced that the crop benefits of LED lighting, combined with the ability to save energy and reuse heat with water cooling, make this an extremely successful formula. The way Gerben is handling his energy fits perfectly with our vision. And the granted subsidy, is the icing on the cake.”