Horti Fair Still Quite The Show

Horti Fair Still Quite The Show

The exhibitor count at this year’s Horti Fair is down dramatically from 2008. One exhibitor I spoke with mentioned the number of exhibit halls being used is down from 11 in 2008 to seven this year. Still, if horticulture is your field, Horti Fair is the place to be.

I spent the day visiting as many of the exhibit halls as I could, but the majority of my time was spent in Horti Fair’s House of Technology. Willem van der Loo, Horti Fair managing director, piqued my interest when he spoke of growers making an additional living producing and selling electricity. I was curious how growers were producing electricity and how many of them were selling it.

Aroen Bechan, a representative from a Dutch electric company called Endon that helps growers sell electricity, offered me some answers. Bechan explained how many Dutch growers have turned to combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration or generating power and thermal energy from a single fuel source.

“It’s a plant that also uses natural gas but produces half the amount of heat,” Bechan says. “This means that you must use twice the amount of gas to make the same amount of heat. But a generator produces up to 43 percent of electricity. This makes the total return 93 percent for each cubic meter of gas. The benefits for the electricity are high enough to compensate the additional gas and investment and also covers a reduction compared to use gas in a boiler.”

Van der Loo views the CHP usage as one of the most impressive technological Dutch developments growers are using.

“Technical solutions, for instance, cut costs in power use,” van der Loo says. “There are growers who find a solution doing just that, and they grow their own power. In some circumstances, there are growers who sell the power back to the public network or to the power producers. There are days in the year where growers earn more by selling electricity than effectively selling cucumbers or paprikash.

“In these difficult economic times, if you are ahead in your technical developments and automation, you’ll probably have a better chance to survive.”

Leave a Reply

4 comments on “Horti Fair Still Quite The Show

  1. I still do not understand why governments are not suporting CHP in north America and power suppliers are against it. It’s a no brainer I think.

  2. The equipment for cogeneration is VERY expensive. Your boiler equipment actually performs better if it is used 24/7 365 days a year. However our government sets the price of electricity abnormally low (is that a supprise?) So until energy policies shift cogeneration is not profitable in the US

  3. I still do not understand why governments are not suporting CHP in north America and power suppliers are against it. It’s a no brainer I think.

  4. The equipment for cogeneration is VERY expensive. Your boiler equipment actually performs better if it is used 24/7 365 days a year. However our government sets the price of electricity abnormally low (is that a supprise?) So until energy policies shift cogeneration is not profitable in the US

More From Technology...
Valtl-Raffeiner-with-Mayer-Potting-Machine

November 18, 2017

Mayer Celebrating 50th Anniversary of its Potting Machines

Today, the company’s line of automatic potting machines and other technology is being used by growers around the world.

Read More

November 15, 2017

Greenhouse Short Course in March 2018 Features Focus on Technology

The Greenhouse Crop Production & Engineering Design Short Course, which takes place at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC), includes three full days of educational sessions, one day of hands-on training workshops at CEAC, and a commercial Arizona greenhouse tour.

Read More
Smart-Magenta-Greenhouse

November 14, 2017

Smart Solar Greenhouses Designed to Generate Energy and Improve Plant Growth

Research at the University of California Santa Cruz has shown that the first crops of tomatoes and cucumbers grown inside electricity-generating solar greenhouses are as healthy as those raised in conventional greenhouses.

Read More
Latest Stories
Valtl-Raffeiner-with-Mayer-Potting-Machine

November 18, 2017

Mayer Celebrating 50th Anniversary of its Potting Machi…

Today, the company’s line of automatic potting machines and other technology is being used by growers around the world.

Read More

November 15, 2017

Greenhouse Short Course in March 2018 Features Focus on…

The Greenhouse Crop Production & Engineering Design Short Course, which takes place at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC), includes three full days of educational sessions, one day of hands-on training workshops at CEAC, and a commercial Arizona greenhouse tour.

Read More
Smart-Magenta-Greenhouse

November 14, 2017

Smart Solar Greenhouses Designed to Generate Energy and…

Research at the University of California Santa Cruz has shown that the first crops of tomatoes and cucumbers grown inside electricity-generating solar greenhouses are as healthy as those raised in conventional greenhouses.

Read More

November 1, 2017

Gamechanger: How Artificial Intelligence Works in the G…

Artificial intelligence may not be taking over the world yet, but it could make a difference in the greenhouse by helping growers do their jobs more efficiently.

Read More
Fluence Bioengineering red lettuce trials - feature

October 30, 2017

Solving Greenhouse Lighting Issues With New Research an…

Changing out your lighting system isn’t quite as easy as replacing a light bulb, but you’ll find the process a lot smoother with this advice from lighting manufacturers and researchers.

Read More
Rough Brothers HopsHouse

October 18, 2017

New Greenhouse Aimed at Hydroponic Hops Producers

The new greenhouse model is the first single-solution hydroponic greenhouse for year-round hops growth, and harvests anywhere from two to five times a year.

Read More
Seville Production Line

October 17, 2017

Production Technology Conference Tour Attendees See Tec…

AmericanHort’s Production Technology Conference in Dallas, TX, kicked off on Monday, Oct. 10, with a tour of three local production facilities.

Read More
TTA PackPlanter S-2

October 16, 2017

TTA Introduces New Transplanter Suited for Smaller Grow…

The PackPlanter S has 16 grippers and a capacity of 10,000 to 20,000 plugs per hour in a small frame.

Read More
GVZ Glasshouses

October 12, 2017

How to Deal With Common Greenhouse Maintenance Issues

The most common problems often come from a lack of cleanliness and faulty equipment. Here are a number of tips you can follow in each of these areas.

Read More
1B Filling trays for Transplanting Feature

October 9, 2017

Maximize Your Labor Efficiency When Sticking Plant Cut…

Transplanting unrooted cuttings into trays is one of the most labor-intensive activities in greenhouse production.

Read More
AgriNomix

October 8, 2017

Greenhouse Equipment Supplier AgriNomix is Expanding

In an effort to keep up with demand from growers venturing into automation, the company is adding almost 20,000 square feet of warehouses and offices.

Read More
LX60 Series (Heliospectra) feature

October 5, 2017

Greenhouse Lighting Suppliers Focused on Efficiency and…

Deciding the best lighting system for your greenhouse — whether you’re growing ornamentals, vegetables, herbs, or something else — can be challenging. Here’s a close look at some of the latest lighting options on the market, and how you can determine whether they are a good fit for your operation.

Read More
Shenandoah Growers - feature

September 30, 2017

How an LED Vertical Growing System Can Enhance Producti…

Shenandoah Growers, a Virginia-based organic herbs producer, is finding that its investment in LEDs has increased production and improved plant quality.

Read More

September 29, 2017

Vertical Farming Looks to Go Mainstream

The University of the District of Columbia is the nation’s only urban land-grant university, so it was a particularly appropriate setting for the Association of Vertical Farming (AVF) to host the AVF Summit 2017 on September 22. The summit was a mix of education, advocacy, and policy discussion about urban agriculture — vertical farming in particular — targeted at finding ways to broaden its adoption in cities around the country and around the world. You’ve probably heard quite a bit in recent months about vertical farming — systems for growing food in stacked layers in completely controlled environments, applying inputs such as light, water, and fertilizer in precise amounts. While there’s some use of these systems in greenhouse settings, in many cases, urban farmers are repurposing abandoned buildings or even shipping containers. Match the availability of these facilities in most large urban areas with big cities’ limited access to fresh, […]

Read More
Quantum Sensor

September 28, 2017

Monitor Your Greenhouse Environment With Five Easy-to-U…

A team of leading researchers offers tips on several devices that can help you effectively manage your greenhouse environment.

Read More
Soil Dosage Bunkers at Meyers Greenhouses feature

September 22, 2017

An Up-Close Look at Meyers Greenhouses’ Central Soil De…

Head Grower Aron Hoff was looking for a way to customize soil mixes on multiple planting lines in real time. The system he’s now using makes the process much simpler.

Read More
Valoya Lights

September 18, 2017

3 Steps to Improving the Efficiency of Your LED Systems

Achieving the largest possible optimal light intensity area with the lowest possible number of lights is essential to making an investment in LEDs pay off.

Read More
Tom Ferndandez RFID

September 14, 2017

Production Technology Conference Focused on Education

From tour stops to educational sessions, here are some of the details you need to know about AmericanHort’s Production Technology Conference in Dallas in October.

Read More