Belgian-based greenhouse growing company Varegro is using a Cummins HSK78G gas generator to power its facility in Oostrozebeke, West Flanders, making it the first in the world to be installed in a greenhouse environment.
Varegro, which has been harvesting for over 40 years to become one of the largest export companies in Belgium, selected the newly launched Cummins HSK78G generator to provide Combined Heat and Power (CHP) to the energy intensive facility. The generator provides thermal and electrical energy by recovering CO2 for a greenhouse premises totalling 40,000 m². It also provides a dependable power source that protects the industry from damaging power outages.
The reliability of the HSK78G can ensure that even if the farmers and greenhouse growers experience natural disasters or extreme climate conditions, they will not lose their crops. The Cummins HSK78G gas generator has been designed to operate in extreme weather conditions and so has a full power capability up to 40°C (104F) with standard turbo offering and up to a blistering 55°C (131F) with high ambient turbo offering. One power outage, whatever the cause, could have a serious affect on the grower’s yearly operation, so it is of paramount importance that the facilities are protected 24/7.
In addition to the reassurance of reliable power, the HSK78G generator offers an electrical efficiency of 44.2%, which leads to greater fuel savings by turning waste heat into productive energy. In an energy intensive greenhouse environment its total return is greater than 100% and Varegro can use this reliable power source to flexibly meet its own energy needs. The electricity that is produced can be used for lighting, recuperation and hot water.
The surplus of the electricity that is being produced at the facility is then sold back to the grid network, which offers greater financial savings for Varegro.
Stefan DeWit, project manager, Cummins Power Generation, said: "In an industry where utility power interruptions of even a few minutes can be catastrophic for crops, being able to rely on a power source that can withstand any environmental eventuality is business critical. The HSK78G generator at the facility is designed to provide reliable power, regardless of the natural gas source or the climate.
“With the addition of the exhaust gas heat exchangers and heat condensers, low and high temperatures can be recuperated achieving a total efficiency of 103%. It is a custom-made gas solution offering maximum efficiency with the greatest possible cost savings to the customer.”
Cummins is responsible for the project’s full maintenance which is critical for the longevity of the generator installation. Highly qualified technicians and specialists working around the clock ensure the installation runs continuously with limited downtime therefore increasing total profitability.
The HSK78G generator models are suitable for a diverse set of industries from mining to manufacturing to shopping malls and hospitals, and have been designed to operate in extreme conditions while achieving a low total cost of ownership.