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The GreenCap Environmental Control System provides energy-efficient climate control for industrial greenhouses where natural conditions are challenging for production efficiency.
Demand for vegetables is increasing worldwide and has led to increased production over the past few decades. In recent years, production has gradually moved to greenhouses for better, more stable growth conditions and less risk of crop disease. This is an international trend, also in countries with stable climates.
Increased greenhouse production, however, has a negative impact on the environment as the aeration process utilised to create optimal conditions for production emits large amounts of CO₂.
GreenCap Solutions has developed a new, patented closed production process for greenhouses that cuts energy consumption and captures the CO₂ needed for the process from the atmosphere.
The GreenCap Environmental Control System (ECS) is customised according to the type of greenhouse, ambient climate conditions, type of vegetable production, and need for CO₂ capturing capacity. The system enables a greenhouse to operate as a standalone, self-sustained unit with most of the functionality controlled by the onboard process control system that manages humidity, temperature and CO₂ levels.
The captured CO₂ is added to the circulation air in the greenhouse to ensure that the CO₂ concentration in the greenhouse is optimal for plant growth. This increases the plant growth rate by 50 per cent or more, and there are virtually no CO₂ emissions.
GreenCap Solutions’ system reuses up to 90 per cent of the water used in production, which will allow for construction of greenhouses in new areas, particularly those facing water shortages.
The closed production process is climate neutral or potentially climate positive. By stabilising and improving growth conditions in greenhouses, the system increases production volume by 20 per cent or more.
For producers, return on investment is expected within three to five years through increased growth, reduced energy consumption, and reuse of water. It also eliminates the cost of producing or procuring CO₂.
GreenCap ECS has the potential to become a game changer in modern greenhouse production. The global market potential is considerable, as consumption of vegetables and plant-based foods is expected to increase.
The GreenCap ECS is installed at a research greenhouse run by the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) at Særheim in Western Norway and will be in full operation from June–September 2019. The first full-scale installation is expected to be sold in Norway in 2019. GreenCap Solutions plans to test the system in various climates outside of Norway, also in 2019.
Zero-emission closed-loop production process for greenhouses
Adaptive control of CO₂, humidity and temperature
Reduced energy consumption and reuse of water supply