Weather conditions have a big influence on the climate conditions in the greenhouse. For example, evaporation and plant growth are mainly driven by solar radiation and changes in temperature affect the energy consumption of a greenhouse.
One of the effects of climate change is that changes in weather can be more rapid and severe than in the past. Therefore anticipating on the weather becomes more important for controlling your greenhouse processes. To provide for this Hoogendoorn offers two modules for the iSii process computer that can be used to control your greenhouse processes based on the weather conditions: Meteoscope and Meteoradar.
The iSii software module Meteoscope provides a 7-day weather forecast for your specific location, which is updated every hour with the latest information about wind speed, temperature, cloudiness and radiation. Thus, Meteoscope enables you to anticipate on the upcoming weather.
René van der Lans, co-owner of Lanstomaten, has been growing tomatoes for 25 years. He has been a satisfied user of Meteoscope for years. “The biggest advantage for us are the controls, especially for temperature and lighting”. Meteoscope automatically adjusts the energy, climate and irrigation settings in your iSii computer, based on your local weather forecast. This allows you for example to store extra heat in your heat storage tank when low temperatures are expected, or turn off the lighting in time if a lot of solar radiation is predicted.
Crop specialist orchids Leon Kouwenhoven, from orchid and seasonal products nursery OK Plant, is very satisfied with the use of Meteoscope. “The added value of Meteoscope is that it enables you to anticipate on the upcoming weather. This way you can adapt your climate in advance, instead of being taken over by events. ”For example, when less radiation is expected, irrigation controls can be adjusted accordingly.
With Meteoscope you can optimize your greenhouse climate based on the weather forecast. Next to optimum growth conditions for your crop, an additional advantage is that the adjusted climate controls can lead to energy and water savings.
Next to temperature, wind and radiation, precipitation also has a significant influence on the greenhouse climate. Most growers already use a precipitation sensor to close the vents as soon as precipitation is detected. However, when your vents are fully opened it can take 5 to 30 minutes before they are closed. This makes it possible for precipitation to enter your greenhouse and disrupt your greenhouse climate. Therefore it is essential to react on expected precipitation as soon as possible, before a shower starts.
Meteoradar calculates the intensity of upcoming precipitation, based on local radar images. When precipitation is approaching a signal is sent to the iSii process computer to (partly) close the vents. In this way the greenhouse climate remains stable and energy is not unnecessarily lost.
At OK Plant they grow high quality orchids and seasonal products for high end florists and garden centers. Leon has been using Meteoradar for 4 years now. “Meteoradar helps us with crop protection. We have a lot of high value crop in our greenhouse and Meteoradar gives us the certainty that controls are adjusted in time, before precipitation starts. This is also beneficial for the greenhouse climate”.
René has been using Meteoradar since the commissioning of the iSii process computer at Lanstomaten in 2008. “Meteoradar responds earlier than the precipitation sensor, so the vents start closing before it starts raining, which creates ease of mind.” In this way Meteoradar prevents precipitation from entering the greenhouse and the crop from becoming wet. With this fungal infestations in the crop are prevented.
Technology in horticulture
Both René and Leon are convinced of the added value of the use of technology and data for controlling the greenhouse climate. Leon: ”Nurseries are getting bigger and more complex, so you need new technologies as extra security”. Therefore, at OK Plant the latest developments are followed closely, to see if they can benefit from them.
According to René, technological development is also very important for the development of the crop. “The iSii process computer 24/7 measures all relevant factors that influence the greenhouse climate, which keeps the greenhouse climate stable at all times. This ensures optimal growing conditions for the crop”.