Does energy saving with thermal screens compromise crop quality?
In 2008, the GrowSave team worked with tomato growers R & L Holt to optimise the use of thermal screens at their Hornsfield Nursery. The end result was best practice energy use levels and enhanced crop yield.
R & L Holt's final energy use figures for 2008 are shown below, so you can make a direct comparison with how your own nursery performed.
The graph below shows the energy used by R & L Holt’s Hornsfield site throughout 2008.
The histogram shows the week-by-week consumption, whilst the blue line shows the cumulative use over the year. The total gas consumption over the year was 369.8 kWh/m2 which represents best practice for a tomato grower in the UK.
(Click on graph to see larger version)
The crop yield at Hornsfield was 9% higher than for an identical crop grown in the same greenhouse in 2007.
Whilst factors such as light levels may have influenced this performance, the increase in yield shows that energy savings were not achieved at the expense of crop performance.