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  • Heating is the biggest component of energy use in a greenhouse, so it's essential to take steps to minimise heat leaking from the structure.

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  • The pumping of irrigation water and the circulation of heating water are major costs in running a greenhouse.

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  • Recent years have seen significant energy improvements in refrigeration, lighting and mechanical handling — important areas for the storage and cooling of crops.

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  • Heating is by far the most intensive use on a greenhouse.

    The boilers, pumps and controls all play a major part in efficient operation. They represent the primary inputs so, no matter how efficiently the heat is used afterwards, losses at the production and distribution stage can never be recovered.

    This section covers issues associated with the hardware in these areas.

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  • CHP

    CHP stands for ‘Combined Heat and Power’ and describes a fuel-fired engine driving an electrical generator, with heat being recovered from the engine for space heating use. 

    Gas-fuelled engines are usually used in CHP, but other fuels, including renewable fuels, can also be used. The electricity generated by the CHP unit can be used on site or exported to the grid.

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  • Control is probably the most critical issue for good energy efficiency.

    Temperature, humidity and CO2 level control involves juggling heating, ventilation screens, air recirculation, pumps and fans — so it's quite a complex buisness.s.

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  • The need for high light levels in horticulture can easily lead to high energy costs ... but choice of light source & luminaries, and system maintenance can all help to reduce energy use, and expense.

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