Phalaenopsis cultivation is energy intensive. During the energy crisis, many growers were forced to terminate their operations, and only a few continued, including Van Geel Orchid. Last year, at other Phalaenopsis growers, the water-cooled LED fixtures proved significant added value for both the plant and the energy management of Phalaenopsis cultivation. This convinced Van Geel Orchid (based in Erica, Drenthe) to switch to full-LED lighting from Oreon.
Since 2006, Martijn van Geel has produced around 30,000 plants per week, the majority of which have two stems. For Martijn, sustainable cultivation is of paramount importance. The orchids are grown under the best conditions for plants, people, and the environment. That’s why the switch to water-cooled LEDs was a logical choice in the continuous focus on sustainable growing.
By switching from HPS to full-LED, the light level increased by 60%, and energy costs decreased by around 25%. This is due not only to the high efficiency of Oreon’s LED fixtures but the possibility of sustainably re-using residual heat. The Van Geel’s greenhouse is divided into propagation and finishing departments. The residual heat from the LED fixtures is used to heat the propagation department up to 30°C. As a result, the energy used by the economical LED lighting is fully utilized.
Both departments will be illuminated with the Oreon LED fixture’ Monarch High Efficiency’ with an output of approximately 4400 μmol/s (max. 4800 μmol/s). Van Geel chose this type of fixture because of its high efficiency (3.6 μmol/J up to 3.9 μmol/J), the option to determine the desired spectrum, and the ability to control the light intensity of each individual fixture.
The LED fixtures will be controlled by the Oreon LED Control Center, which is connected to Hoogendoorn’s climate computer. This grants Martijn van Geel the flexibility and control he was looking for. The entire greenhouse can be divided into an infinite number of groups and can respond immediately to fluctuating energy prices. The lighting of every square meter of the greenhouse is fully controllable, and light distribution remains perfect at every light level — a factor of great importance for a stationary crop.
The agreement between Van Geel Orchid and Oreon was established in collaboration with Ledgnd, who also assists the orchid grower in the application process for a subsidy scheme. The water installation will be installed by Erik Creve of Indagro lighting bvba, where the existing cabling and panels will be used for the electricity installation and will be adjusted where necessary.
The new lighting configuration in the 2.2-ha greenhouse of Van Geel Orchid will be taken into use in mid-October