Choose the Right Generator for Your Greenhouse Operation

22 July 2021

As a sector that relies heavily on maintaining a controlled environment for optimal plant health, having a sustainable power source is critical. Greenhouses are considering new, more efficient ways to operate but choosing the right power generator involves understanding your business and future plans.

Find what works for you

What will your operation look like in five to 10 years? How do you plan to handle unexpected demand? What support do you have to run your equipment?

Other factors such as the size of your operation, energy load, and whether you are on the power grid also play a role. And from a technical perspective, you want to understand the heat requirement, fuel availability and heat to power ratio to match the demands of your facility.

Your equipment dealer can help model full lifecycle costs to ensure present and future needs are considered upfront. This may include adding after-treatment or additional generators as your needs increase, or modelling plant operational changes.

Consider combined heat and power (CHP)

Developments in combined cool/heat power solutions have allowed greenhouse operators to conserve energy and further reduce emissions, lowering energy costs by generating enough power to take the greenhouse off the power grid.

CHP after-treatment systems provide an added benefit by filtering exhaust gas from generators, which is rich in carbon dioxide. When the greenhouse temperature is regulated and sufficient lighting is provided, the atmosphere becomes enriched with CO2, potentially leading to higher yields.

Understand how your equipment is being used

New power generation technologies, combined with regularly scheduled maintenance and remote monitoring, can help manage and maintain equipment, meaning fewer repairs and lower costs in the long run. Recent advancements in installations, on-site service, equipment lifecycle analysis and preventative maintenance are also giving operators better visibility and control.

Status updates, such as runtime and fuel levels, can help ensure that your generator is running optimally. This is critical for generators used for backup power. Alerts can signal changes in temperature or oil pressure, low coolant levels and battery status.

Prioritize maintenance

When a generator is properly maintained it can have a huge impact on the profitability of an operation. One of the biggest challenges is having the right parts and technicians available to repair the equipment. Flexible, customized service agreements based on the business needs of the greenhouse will provide immediate access to reliable service, repairs and breakdown response. Since your equipment will be monitored remotely, you can be assured that parts are stocked and delivered on time.

Click here to find out more information about the Finning power systems solutions.

Finning is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer, selling, renting and providing parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. We operate in Western Canada, South America, and UK and Ireland.


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