Reducing gas consumption of greenhouses

News - 15 July 2020 - Communication BK

Greenhouses use large amounts of natural gas for maintaining ideal crop growth conditions. BK Alumna Liesanne Wieleman and Jildou de Jong from the start-up Thermeleon, and researcher Martin Tenpierik received a Take-Off grant from NWO to conduct a study into the technical and financial feasibility of a new screening system, functioning as a passive heat battery. First results have shown a good potential for reducing the annual gas demand of the horticultural sector in the Netherlands.

The horticultural sector in the Netherlands has the ambition to become climate neutral by 2040. Currently, an owner of an average-sized greenhouse spends around 20-30% of their total costs on natural gas for heating with an accompanying net CO2 emission of more than a thousand ton. Despite already taking energy efficiency measures, the need for heat is still rising due to intensification of the sector. The solution under scrutiny in this project intends to change this trend.

The idea is to further develop an innovative heat battery screen system for greenhouses. Liesanne Wieleman already started investigating the energy saving potential of this idea for her MSc thesis (MSc track Building Technology), partially building upon knowledge obtained during the Double Face 2.0 project of Martin Tenpierik and Michela Turrin. After her graduation she founded the start-up Thermeleon together with Jildou de Jong, to further develop this innovative Therme Horti Screen. These screens will buffer excess heat during the day and release the heat at night when there is a high demand for heating. First simulations have shown that an energy cost reduction of around 25% is feasible. 

The aim of this project is a deep investigation of the technical and financial feasibility of the product. Experiments, simulations, co-creation, product development and a small pilot will be used to proof the technology is working. Market research and cost analysis will be used to proof the financial feasibility and the market potential.

More information

Contact Martin Tenpierik for more information on the project.