October 13, 2009
The Coolest Product On The Show Floor
Labor is a killer, right? It might even be the biggest issue your greenhouse operation deals with. But if you’re a Phalaenopsis orchid grower, a Dutch company called Hortiquip has designed a big-time labor-saving machine for you. The machine is actually a staking machine, and it uses laser technology to position stakes to support plants, including the automatic attachment of clips. You have to see it to be totally wowed by its capabilities, and I’ll post video on GreenhouseGrower.com/GGTV in the coming weeks featuring Remco Hmmerlaan, one of the staking machine’s developers, giving a demonstration. For the time being, imagine this: You’ve just potted your orchids with a growing media. Perhaps you prefer a media like bark that’s thick, jagged and unwilling to take stakes from greenhouse workers on a line without a fight. The staking machine simplifies the process, moving potted orchids along a conveyor line to a point […]
October 7, 2009
NGMA Hosting Conference In Hawaii
Growers interested in attending the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association’s (NGMA) 2010 spring conference will soon be able to register. The upcoming conference will take place Aprill 18-20 at the Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku (Oahu) Hawii. Events include the annual golf outing and volleyball tournament along with committee meetings, educational sessions and product information exchange. This conference is a great opportuinity for educational enrichment through their speakers and one-on-one business sessions. To make reservations, call the Turtle Bay Resort at 800-203-3650. Make sure you mention NGMA for the discounted rate. For conference registration visit www.ngma.com and for more information on the Turtle Bay Resort, check out www.turtlebayresort.com.
September 29, 2009
Hamilton Unveils New System Separator
Hamilton Engineering, manufacturer of the EVO product line, has released its newest low-loss header: the Hamilton System Separator. The system separator allows for an infinite number of heating zones and loads with precise water temperature control, while maintaining boiler efficiency through turbulent flow. It functions as the heating system’s hub, removing air, separating flows and acting as the primary dirt and sludge separator. The system also eliminates pump conflict, extra boiler room plumbing and protects a grower’s boiler from fluctuating pressures, thereby increasing a boiler’s efficiency. For more information on the new system separator, call Hamilton Engineering at 800-968-5530, e-mail [email protected] or visit HamiltonEngineering.com.
September 29, 2009
Ohio Operations Active In Energy Program
Applicant Name Grant Requested Loan Requested Technology Mapleview Farms, Inc. $9,525 Greenhouse Heater Replacement Corso’s Perennials $74,897 Wind Turbine: Small Coram Flora (on behalf of Green Circle Growers) $7,500,000 Biomass Fuel Switch Knitz Greenhouse $14,180 $19,851 Wind Turbine: Small Eagle Creek Wholesale $25,679 Wind Turbine: Small Mohican Gardens $20,000 Geothermal Heating System Webb Perennials $7,865 Biomass Fired Boiiler USDA awarded nearly $12 million in funding this year to Ohio growers and farmers as part of its Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), and at least seven Ohio greenhouse operations were recipients of USDA funds. REAP loan guarantees and grants can be used for renewable energy systems, energy-efficiency improvements, feasibility studies and energy audits. More information about the REAP, which was authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill, is available at: www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/farmbill/index.html. In Ohio alone, our industry received nearly two-thirds of the $12 million in funding awarded to businesses, […]
September 11, 2009
This Year’s Top Horti Fair Products
Hundreds of new products and services are introduced at Horti Fair each year, but only a handful are nominated by an international jury of experts for the Horti Fair Innovation Award. This year, 18 products and services were nominated, including 10 in a Horti Tech category. Those products are as follows: – The Lumenex 5.60 from Boal Systemen, a new greenhouse roof that has an advantage of translucence in addition to the Double PVC system for improved energy control, water tightness and durability. – i4Energy from Hoogendorn, an application that collects all information relating to crops, climate and energy. – Hortiquip’s staking machine, which uses triangle laser technology to position stakes, including the automatic fitting of clips. –The Knook ‘Waste to CO2’ from Knook Energy Solutions International, a process for the conversion of biomass into electricity, carbon dioxide and heat. – The Active Ventilation System (AVS) from van Dijk Heating, […]
September 9, 2009
Heating Symposium Emphasizes Efficiency
Modine Manufacturing Company produces heating systems for an assortment of industries, including automotives and schools. Modine is also a greenhouse heating systems manufacturer, and top of mind for the company’s leaders in all units it manufactures is energy efficiency. As part of an energy-efficiency symposium last week, Modine invited three public officials to present on the importance of energy efficiency. Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton was one official on hand, and she called energy efficiency a high priority for greenhouse growers. “Energy efficiency is the first essential step toward [reversing] global warming,” she says. Lawton also mentioned Wisconsin is trying to initiate retrofit heating efficiency loans for users of energy-efficient heating systems like Modine’s new Effinity93 gas-fired unit heater and similar products on the market. Another official, Rich Hackner of Focus On Energy Wisconsin, emphasized the cost savings growers will see if they take energy efficiency seriously. Seventy to 80 percent of all energy […]
August 26, 2009
Monitoring Greenhouse Energy Effectively
The iGrow 400/800 series of controllers from Link 4 Corporation is designed specifically for easy transition in existing greenhouses using thermostats or early-generation controllers, while providing advanced control capabilities and affordability. The unique energy-use monitoring system gives growers real data on energy used by individual pieces of equipment for heating and cooling systems, showing energy cost savings and return on investment (ROI) for the controller. This is something thermostats or other controllers cannot do. Once a grower reaches his or her ROI with the controller, it will continue to show energy cost savings going forward. While traditional thermostats have often been used by growers to provide simple temperature control only, the iGrow 400/800 controllers offer a more advanced control over a wider range of equipment, such as: –Exhaust fans –Pad Pumps–Pad Louvers –HAF Fans –Fan Jets –Unit Heaters –Perimeter Heating Systems –Vents & Curtains –Other Equipment Each piece of equipment’s […]
August 17, 2009
Modine’s Latest Heaters Improve Efficiency
The Effinity93 from Modine Manufacturing Company has a full line of six models ranging from 135,000 to 310,000 BTUs per hour. All six models operate at 93 percent efficiency, giving growers a more efficient way to heat greenhouses so they can dramatically lower their energy bills, decrease fuel consumption and keep their environments controlled for optimal comfort and safety. “We developed the Effinity93 line to provide commercial HVAC users an option that meets the energy needs of tomorrow, drives down energy costs and creates a substantial return on investment–benefits that are clear to the end user,” says Matt McBurney, director of Modine’s commercial products group. “We strived to include standard benefits that would make it an attractive and convenient addition to any building project or pre-existing facility.” The Effinity93 features Modine’s Conservicore technology, a high-grade stainless steel secondary heat exchanger specifically designed to withstand the acidic condensate that is a […]
August 1, 2009
10 Tips For Improving Heating In The Greenhouse
Winter drafts. They’re enough to send chills down your back, especially when you start thinking about possible gaps, tears and holes in and around your greenhouse. Nothing’s worse than escaping heat and losing money at the same time. What follows are 10 action items that will help keep more of your heating dollars safely in your pocket as the temperature dips. Bob Fritchen, sales manager at Modine Manufacturing Company, says it best: “Make sure the first cold blast is not the first time you turn on your system.” 1. Reduce The Space Morris Brink, West Coast territory sales manager for TrueLeaf Technologies, says, “The first thing we encourage growers to do is reduce the heated area in the early spring.” When getting crops started, cordon off a small section of the greenhouse in a pot-to-pot tight environment, rather than using an entire greenhouse range, he adds. With micro-climate heating, “You […]
July 23, 2009
Big-Time Bench Warmer
The Roll-N-Grow mat for benches and mesh for floors are new products TrueLeaf Technologies unveiled at OFA Short Course earlier this month. TrueLeaf developed the mat and mesh because many growers called the company over the last couple years asking for spot bottom heat. The Roll-N-Grow mat is made connecting tubing with holding rails that are spaced every 2 inches. Mats are ideal for most general greenhouse bench heating applications. Mesh heating for floors are designed similarly. Tubes are woven directly into a weed mat fabric and shipped on a roll just like standard ground cover fabric. Tubing is woven in on 3-inch centers, which provide even heating for gently warming crops like bedding plants, perennials in flats or potted crops produced on the floor. For more information on the warmers, click here.
July 23, 2009
Hail Storm Shreds Greenhouse Roofs
Stevens and Son Wholesale Florist is in clean-up mode this week after a Monday night hailstorm destroyed greenhouse roof coverings at its two facilities in Arvada, Colo. All coverings were made of Dynaglass, and not a single panel of it is salvageable. “It’s just a mess,” Bruce Daniel, company president, said Thursday. “We’re trying to complete one small project at a time and move forward. We’re scrambling to find materials and put a plan together. It’s a nightmare.” Daniel estimates damage well into six figures, but the operation is still in business. Twenty to 30 percent of plants were lost, and the operation expects the roof replacement process to take about six weeks. Stevens and Son will use Dynaglass coverings as the replacement material. For more on the story, click here. You can also visit the Stevens and Son website and view a slideshow of the damage sustained here.