Greenhouse electrical and automation systems

Installation and service of greenhouse electrical and automation systems is no simple task.  So much must be taken into consideration, including the size of the operation, electric load demands and environment, to name a few.  Greenhouse owners must consider current needs, as well as the future needs of the grow operation.  Finding the right electrician is the logical first step.

Zwart Electric has over 25 years of experience as a greenhouse systems contractor serving Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa.  We have partnered with Priva to offer process, climate, water, and energy solutions for your greenhouse project.  Whether it is sales and installation of a new Priva systems, or service of your existing system, Zwart Electric can provide the expertise needed for your greenhouse to be as energy efficient as it can be.

Priva is the world market leader in the filed of horticultural automation system.  With over 50 years of experience Priva can provide practical solutions across every sector of the horticultural industry from greenhouse climate control to systems management for personnel.  To learn more, order Priva products, or schedule a free estimate for services and installation, please visit the contact us page and one of our project managers will respond within 24 hours.  To learn more about Priva systems, please click here to visit their website.

  • Temperature & Humidity Controls
  • Light Sensors
  • Co2 Meters
  • Vent Sensors
  • Water Temperature Sensors
  • EC and pH Sensors
  • Weather Stations

Consumers Energy Project of the Year 2015 Summary: Environmental Controls System

Panse Greenhouses, LLC, a family owned and operated greenhouse spanning 8 acres which was founded by Dean Panse in 1988, has taken an in-depth look at energy savings for our agricultural business.  Being that our utility costs are the top-ranking expense in the greenhouse industry, it is ever so evident that savings opportunities in this arena are unscrupulously investigated and employed where possible.  At the end of 2014, while undergoing and investing in greenhouse improvements, it became evident that our energy conservation may be improved drastically by investing in a newer environmental controls program.  In looking into this further, we were introduced to the PRIVA System.  What was most appealing about this system is that it allows for a complete comprehensive approach to sustaining ideal growing conditions, by automatically adjusting vents, fans, misters, heaters and shading systems preset by a user on a simplified computer program.  The program calls for specifications of ideal light, heat and moisture for the optimum growing conditions of each product in the greenhouse.  These specifications can be easily altered at any point to allow the management of growth-regulation, which enables a grower to ‘hold’ flowering or ‘push’ flowering of specific products depending upon sales needs.

Though the system required a large financial investment, we determined that the energy savings could allow for a 3-year payback – assuming gas prices and usage remain relatively constant.  What we found most impressive was the immediate reduction in Mcf usage (almost 3,000 Mcf) in the first 6months of use.  This is made possible because the system is designed to operate with automatic adjustments based on the weather and light fluctuations 24hrs a day, with absolutely no manual labor required.  This benefit, prevents the overuse of furnace heat, the under-use of natural sunlight and takes advantage of proper ventilation, aiding the prevention of mold growth and over-watering.  Suffice it to say, the slight changes in temperature and light, for instance, can be quickly and easily corrected without huge spurts of energy usage, which would have had to be manually engaged.

The system provides easy-to-understand graphs of the measures for light, heat and moisture readings as they progress over the 24hr period so a grower can better gauge weather trends and how they are affecting the growth of the product.  Also, with the use of modern technology, all of the information and readings that the system measures are accessible on smart phones and tablets.

Of all of the technology and automation that has been introduced to the greenhouse industry, the modern Environmental Controls System has been one of the most impressive and most useful systems we have seen.  Not only has it already provided evident savings, but it has alleviated some of the physical and mental stress involved with constant monitoring and manipulation of the greenhouse settings.

Energy Savings – The installation of the complete Environmental Controls System has already proven to reduce our Mcf consumption over 6-months by nearly 3,000 Mcfs (resulting in approximately $17K in savings).  Electrical use has also improved as has our effective use of water & labor.  Additionally we installed high efficiency grow lighting & replaced all fixtures with LED lighting, these are wired into and managed by the Environmental Controls System. They have proved to reduce our plant rooting time drastically and resulted in over 12,000 kWh in the 4 highest usage months of the season.  We are excited to learn what our overall savings will be for the full-year.

Project Innovation – The investment made in a modern, technologically advanced Environmental Controls System has proven to be a year-round advantage to saving time & money for our greenhouse business. We engineered our renovations around the system so that it could function more effectively and we aligned our continued improvements with the systems’ many capabilities including high-efficiency grow lights, LED lighting, energy curtains and boiler-heated flooring. The installation of this system and the many facets it can manage, has granted our greenhouses the modern-day advantages and conveniences without requiring additional energy needs.

Repeatability – As our business expands seasonally and with any future additions of greenhouse structures, we will continue to utilize the complete Environmental Controls System throughout.  We have a second greenhouse with antiquated mechanization, and we certainly plan to invest in a complete Environmental Controls System at this location as well.  We are certain it will likewise result in drastic reductions of gas & electric usage.

New Technology – Though the creation of environmental controls systems for greenhouses has been available for years, many greenhouses simply have not investigated the investment into the more technologically improved systems and how they are more economically and environmentally advantageous.  Panse Greenhouses is an active advocate in reducing our carbon footprint and we constantly analyze our planning, production and shipping systems to look for continuous improvement strategies. Though the industry has suffered some difficult years, we have done our best to separate our greenhouse production from the status quo, and to look to cost savings for continued success.  Thanks for your assistance and consideration of our savings action plan & projects.  They have made our efforts possible!