Many growers say they are looking for more direct heating to the plant, along with better boiler and system efficiencies. Here’s what two companies are doing in response.
Delta T Focused On Direct Heating
“Many growers we talk with are looking for more direct heating to the plant, along with better boiler and system efficiencies,” says Michael Kovalycsik, National Sales and Marketing Director for Delta T Solutions Inc., a Temecula, CA-based manufacturer of high-efficiency hydronic heating systems for greenhouses. “Some growers are looking to build and heat self-designed germination chambers.”
Delta T designs and engineers this type of customized system, and has taken advantage of new advancements in pump capabilities and controls that will help growers maintain much higher levels of efficient heating.
“We work with Grundfos, a large pump manufacturer, which is creating new VFD technology (Variable Frequency Drive) that is user friendly, with intelligent pump operation that integrates high-efficiency permanent magnet motors, integral wireless communication between pumps, and smart phone applications,” says Armando Echevarria, Delta T Solutions Inside Sales. “This makes it very easy for growers to take advantage of VFD efficiency for energy savings and environmental consciousness, while also modulating the flow and BTU delivered to a heating or cooling system.”
Echevarria also notes that while VFD pump stations have gotten better and easier to use, their cost has come down to the point where they can be added to most systems with small or even no added expense.
“When the cost is higher than a traditional on/off pump, that difference can often be offset by more simplified heating system piping and the elimination of pump motor starters.”
Bio Therm Develops Improved Gutter Heating
The Sun Fin from Bio Therm is the company’s highest heat output finned pipe commonly used for perimeter, top, and gutter heating. Manufactured completely from aluminum, SunFin pipes do not rust. It is designed with maximum surface area to transport hot water and dissipate large amounts of heat through its fins.
The pipe comes in a standard 12-foot length, although customized sizing is possible. It has a pressure rating of 125 psi at 230°F.