Greenhouse Environment Controllers
The climate inside a commercial greenhouse is constantly changing in response to the outside weather conditions.
The performance of a greenhouse crop is highly dependent on how well this greenhouse environment is maintained.
Failure to provide a consistent climate can quickly lead to reduced yields, crop stress (and related diseases) and even crippling losses.
A modern greenhouse can use a wide range of equipment to adjust the greenhouse environment:
Roof vents, Roll up sidewalls, heating & cooling equipment, shadescreens, thermal screens, recirculation fans, extraction fans, fogging, evaporative cooling pads, lighting, CO2.
It is not possible for a grower to precisely maintain a consistent climate by manually adjusting all or some of this equipment, while also finding time to tend to other areas of their business and be offsite for periods of time.
The use of a Greenhouse Environment Controller allows the greenhouse climate to be automatically maintained in accordance with user defined setpoints.
Environmental sensors are set up both inside and outside of the greenhouse to monitor the variables which influence plant growth as well as any variables that could potentially damage the greenhouse or the crop inside (e.g strong wind or rain).
Environmental variables include: Wind speed, wind direction, rain fall frequency, rainfall volume, inside and outside temperature, inside and outside relative humidity, light intensity.
The information received from the environmental sensors is used by the controller to adjust the various pieces of equipment used for climate control. The information is cross referenced by the controller so there is no wastage of valuable energy, or any activity that is likely to put the crop or the greenhouse structure at risk. Examples of this would be to prevent vent activation when CO2 injection is in progress, minimise venting when heating systems are in use or preventing the opening of vents on the windward side of the greenhouse when strong winds are present.
The environmental information received from the sensors is also able to be logged and graphically displayed on accompanying computer software. This is particularly useful for reviewing the past performance of a crop and for future planning.
The latest Greenhouse environment controllers come as a base controller which allows users to upgrade to different features simply by purchasing new chips which slot inside the unit to provide a whole new range of capabilities. This is ideal for smaller growers or those on limited budgets who want to start off with just a few features (e.g automation of roof and sidewall ventilation) and add to the controller as their business grows.
The controllers are all able to be computer interfaced allowing for remote operation, data logging and text messaging alerts. Should there be a problem with the controller or any of the climate control equipment the controller can send an alarm signal to the PC which can activate an audible alarm or alert the grower via text messaging or pager should they be away from the site. Modern PC capabilities allow the controller to be accessed by technicians anywhere in the world to diagnose any problems and check on or adjust any settings the grower may have questions on.
The key benefits of using a modern greenhouse environment controller are as follows:
- The Greenhouse environment is able to be automatically monitored and precisely controlled.
- Vast improvements in crop quality are quickly noticed once a greenhouse environment controller is installed.
- The investment is able to be recovered in a short time period due to improved yields and quality.
- Energy efficiency is maximised.
- Agrichemical usage to target stress related diseases on plants is drastically reduced or eliminated.
- Greenhouse workers appreciate the stable greenhouse climate with fewer temperature extremes allowing for higher worker productivity and job satisfaction.
- The greenhouse structure and crop is protected from storm damage by intelligently controlling vents and roll up sidewalls during periods of heavy wind or rain.
Please contact Pure Hydroponics to discuss the best greenhouse control system for your business.