In a world where health concerns and security of food supply are starting to play a more and more important role, the greenhouse sector is responding by going through an explosive growth.
To facilitate this rapid expansion, standardization of design and construction are increasingly important to build projects on-time, on-budget, while immediately performing as expected.
Building on many years of greenhouse experience, AB set out to develop a greenhouse specific version of their containerized CHP plants and the result of this design effort has been astonishing.
The system is essentially a combination of 3 modules (containerized generator set, exhaust cleaning, and heat recovery). During the manufacturing process the entire CHP plant will be fully assembled, before taking it apart and shipping it to the end destination.
Once arrived on site, the complete CHP plant can be re-assembled in as little as 5 days, providing greenhouse cogeneration customers with the following connection points:
• Gas inlet at container wall
• Electricity at generator terminals
• Hot water at container wall
• CO2 at exhaust stack
In addition, system controls were also optimized and standardized. Key to successful operation is integration with the greenhouse climate control computer to make sure that the CHP plant always operates with as primary focus the needs of the greenhouse. For greenhouses with grow lights, a grow light control computer was developed that in combination with the CHP master control system ensures engine performance is at all times matched to lighting demands as set by the greenhouse climate control computer.
For grid parallel operation, the system will optimize the operation by automating if power should be drawn from the grid, from the CHP plant or even whether power should be exported into the grid during periods where grid power is more expensive than power produced by the CHP plant.
Options for optimizing system operation through energy storage and use of renewable natural gas can also be added to the system.