Enhancing crop quality and energy savings with climate screens

Enhancing crop quality and energy savings with climate screens
To help growers determine which climate screen is best for their greenhouse, Svensson offers consultancy support from climate advisors to provide customized advice. For example, growers who want to prioritize energy savings and maximize light transmission may choose a Luxous screen, shown here. Photo courtesy of Ludvig Svensson.

The success of a greenhouse-grown crop relies on a delicate balance of the right factors, including temperature, humidity levels and light. Like a good recipe, these elements require a precise and customized strategy to ensure a high-yielding and profitable crop. Too much (or too little) of one ingredient throws off the whole formula.

Technology and equipment advancements spanning several decades have made it easier for growers to fine-tune their success strategies, and necessity continues to drive innovation. Take climate screens, for example. From a simple screen first launched during the energy crisis of the 1970s, climate screens have evolved in function and capability, and have become increasingly popular thanks to their ability to manage temperature, humidity and light levels in a greenhouse, all while proving to save on energy costs.

“Screens help growers maintain optimal environmental conditions and stabilize humidity in greenhouses,” explains Gretchen Schimelpfenig, an energy engineer who works with growers to determine best practices for energy efficiency and decarbonization. As the executive director of Cornell University’s Greenhouse Lighting and Systems Engineering (GLASE) consortium, and a senior energy engineer at Energy Resources Integration (ERI), Schimelpfenig helps growers understand what type (or types) of screens will work best to meet their individual operation’s needs.

Optimizing cold-climate conditions

Climate screens have become somewhat commonplace for floriculture and horticulture crops alike thanks to the role they play in promoting faster plant growth and development and improving plant quality, but they’ve proven to be especially useful in cold-climate regions.

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