Brute force is needed to clear post-cultivation greenhouse crops. That invariably makes for great footage of roaring engines. Nowadays, however, electric machines are also available. They can also clear greenhouse crops at high capacity, as Dutch company Hortiworld proves with the Bio Bull. A zero-emission version of this, which a Finnish grower is already using, is now on the market.
"At least half the orders we processed last year involved electric machines," says Rembrandt van Meegen. He runs his company with partner Peter Oosterink.
They manufacture several types of agriculture and horticulture machinery. According to Rembrandt, the increased electric machine orders prove that greenhouse farming is electrifying, machinery-wise, too. "A significant number of companies are working on their footprint and trying to reduce their CO2 emissions."
And with the Bio Bull Zero Emission it's also possible. It is a crop shredder with no fuel engine. "Particularly the high capacity is innovative. The Bio Bull can process up to 5,000 meters of crop per hour. That's a lot," explains Rembrandt. He knows that electric shredding machines already exist. "But those don't have such a high capacity." Another advantage of electrifying machines, besides the environmental aspect - "people don't want that smell and noise anymore," adds Rembrandt - is that they are quieter.
A higher capacity for the electric Bio Bulls is possible. The biggest obstacle to field introduction, says Rembrandt, is the electricity available in the greenhouse. "Some growers have 1,000 amps. Then you can operate at high capacity, electrically too. We can then go up to about a Kw, which is more like the large crop change machines."
In Finland, the greenhouse in the video below has 265 amps available. "The trick is to develop the most efficient machine possible. That means as little ampere power but still the highest capacity possible," Rembrandt concludes.
Hortiworld supplies the machines via dealers. In the Netherlands, that is Hortimat.