Warehouse or Vertical growing has been gaining a lot of press both good and bad.
So Indoor Warehouse Growing (IWG) has been around for several years now, there has been some failures along the way. Sadly, there has not been that many if any real successes stories. However, we aim to change all that as we have been leading the way in the background for over 11 years now.
So, what are the main differences between a greenhouse operation and a IWG operation. The Two are very similar if you take a fully commercial greenhouse operation and not just a cheap greenhouse structure.
A Greenhouse uses heating during the winter months to heat the crop and to keep it alive. This uses a lot of energy.
If you take Europe then in the winter you can have -5 c and if you have a crop in the greenhouse you need to heat that crop to 16c minimum so 16 +5 is 21c so the actual heat load for boiler capacity is 21c lift needed. This will be higher as it can get colder, however as the weather is cold this also makes the daytime short and dull, so supplementary lighting is also needed to give the crop the daylength needed to grow. This is called DLI (Daily Light Integral) After all, why heat if the plants do not have light to grow. Now most greenhouse crops grown like this are vine crops such as Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumbers. So, there is also a need for intermittent lighting (this is lighting in between the plants to give the lower leaf & the fruiting trusses light to grow)
To help insulate the greenhouse shade netting is pulled across however this lowers the light level so the need for top level LED lighting is needed, so we have 2 forms of lighting for a greenhouse crop. The heating is going for 24 hrs a day to keep the needed climate for the crop.
During the summer months we find we must cool the greenhouse down so once again we find ourselves pulling the shade netting over to keep out the suns heat from the crop. So once again we block out the needed light to stop the crop overheating. As we are blocking the sun out this means that we must once again supplement this light by artificial means.
We also open the vents on the roof, once again the valuable resources we need for the crop are escaping to the outside climate. We use a boiler to produce heat so we can take the Co2 flue gasses from the chimney and divert these into the greenhouse for crop growth. Yet we have the vents open which in turn also allow the Co2 to escape from the greenhouse via the open vents. So, we are always using valuable energy to keep the crop at its optimum growing level.
As most Greenhouse are in rural areas having the vents open also allow other elements inside such as pest or spray drift from neighboring farms / greenhouses.
This is modern growing as food demand is rising all the time so production must meet demand and to meet demand growers must produce 12 months of the year.
Some larger growers or Businesses do this by producing in different countries and shipping the produce back to Europe for sale in the supermarkets. All of this effect the shelf life and also the quality as fresh produce does not travel very well so the produce is harvest unripe and ripens during transportation. Hence why the flavor is not as we used to know it from our childhood days. To achieve the needed produce consistently Growers, use sophisticated computer technology that most people do not know exist and it is only recently that these companies have started to be interested in the indoor warehouse growing market.
Indoor Warehouse Growing
By using the commercial experience of Greenhouse growing and adapting these to building of an IWG Operation we can make these operations far more efficient.
Our unique way of building a facility and cooling it makes the operation far more efficient in energy usage. We have also been leading the way in LED design and lowering the heat generated from the light and what heat they produce we use to bring the needed nighttime to daytime temperature.
By growing inside a warehouse, we can achieve the Growers dream of having the perfect climate for the perfect crop.
Imagine growing tomatoes in the UK all year round in a greenhouse. Well inside a warehouse we can do this. An insulated warehouse can be 22c whatever the time of the year and this is anywhere in the world. – 50c to +50c the climate can be controlled and due to the U factor of the insulation once the inside climate is warm or cold it does not have the outside elements cooling it down or heating it up so it remains constant longer and makes this an efficient manner of growing.
Now as we mentioned earlier the use of LED’s is needed in an IWG Operation but again by using the innovative minds of the founders and thinking out of the box we are actually bringing the outside sun inside the IWG Unit.
Most LED’s are under the influence of the big lighting companies whose aim is to sell LED’s and not to sell the best way to use LED’s .
By thinking outside the box and always thinking of the next innovation and how to improve have come up with the ‘DNA’ breakdown of lighting.
Most companies use Red , Blue spectrum and now add a warm white Diode to give the impression of a ‘white’ daylight spectrum LED.
Hydroponic Growing Systems have been innovating this since there conception and we use a LED that works in harmony with the grow system to grow quality plants and to bring the outside light inside.
Now the suns rays actually do not stay constant throughout the day and this means that the spectrum actually changes during the day.
We have thought of that and have a 1st generation led and the 2nd generation is under development.
So we really are bringing the outside inside and with the next generation we will be even closer to the sunlight spectrum making our Indoor Warehouse Growing far more efficient than any Greenhouse operation.
This will allow us to harvest any type of crop 356 days a year and replicate any climate and light level needed to grow any type of plant.