Coverings are a great way to reduce energy costs in the greenhouse. If purchasing a covering isn’t an option, one way to reduce energy-related costs is to conduct self-audits on a regular basis. These energy audits allow growers to identify potential savings by checking various production systems.
“In the plastics world, we can perform many tests to see if it leaks,” says SolaWrap Agricultural Sales Manager Kenneth Aguilar. “But energy is not just heating and cooling. It’s also other items such as light quality and plant growth and health.”
To ensure your operation is running efficiently, check out the following resources:
USDA’s Virtual Grower Software
“Initially designed to help greenhouse growers determine heating costs and do simple simulations to figure out where heat savings could be achieved, Virtual Grower can now not only identify those savings through different greenhouse designs, but also predict crop growth, assist in scheduling, make real-time predictions of energy use, and see the impact of supplemental lighting on plant growth and development. In other words, the software can be a safety net and allow users to experiment with ‘what if’ scenarios in a risk-free setting.” VirtualGrower.net
Greenhouse Energy Audit Resources from Michigan State University Extension Floriculture Team