March 2, 2020
Bosman Van Zaal, as the main contractor, has realised the high-tech quarantine research greenhouse 'Serre Red' on the Wageningen University & Research campus. Serre Red will be used for critical research into plant diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasitic nematodes - including quarantine pathogens - and for research into genetically modified organisms. The first phase for the renewal of Unifarm's greenhouse complex covers 4,000 m2 of greenhouse with 63 (!) compartments. These vary in size from 15 to 52 square metres.
All compartments have individual climate control, air filtering and access locks. Extensive technical equipment is installed in basements under the complex to prevent shading. Other features of the fully electric greenhouse are insulating double glazing, screening, heat and cold storage and autoclave, which sterilises materials leaving the greenhouse, such as waste and water. Good insulation allows all compartments in the complex to be used side by side for various experiments. In this way, the experiments are not influenced by each other.
Start of the construction beginning 2019
Double glazing makes the research greenhouse extra energy efficient. For the inner façade, the choice was made to go for single tempered float glass of 6 mm thick. For the outer façade as well as the greenhouse cover, a 22 mm thick insulation glass with a high insulating value combined with high light transmissibility was chosen. “Thanks to the combination of LowE and Anti-reflex coatings with a low-iron glass, the light transmissibility is very high”, says Jorn Hebels, account manager Glasimport Greenhouses. “In addition, the double insulation glass also has a high insulation value, resulting in a significant reduction in energy costs. And the special edge sealing of the glass is also durable," continues Jorn. "It can withstand high levels of sunlight (UV radiation), temperature fluctuations, humidity and mechanical pressure".
By using tempered glass both indoor and outdoor, the greenhouse is very safe for employees, plants, and the equipment inside. "This greenhouse cover technology is ready for the future in every way. The greenhouse horticulture is being inspected closely in terms of sustainability (energy use), safety, and light output to promote plant growth. The ultimate goal is to reach as high as possible efficiency with as little as possible energy (loss), all of which needs to be done in a safe way. This was a big success in the project, making it an excellent example for further developments in the field of sustainable greenhouse horticulture”, says Ruud Geerlings of glass manufacturer Scheuten Glas.
The construction of the electric, high-tech quarantine research greenhouse on the WUR campus started in early 2019. Just before Christmas, the greenhouse was fully glazed. In March it was time to furnish the inside of the greenhouse. A special job, because all the technology is located in the basement. "This was one of the wishes of the researchers, who wanted as little shade as possible in the greenhouse," says Patrick Hollemans, Project Coordinator Bosman Van Zaal.
The technique that does not need to be hung up, has been kept outside the cultivation areas. This makes it easy to carry out maintenance and repairs and the compartments can also be cleaned separately from each other. However, letting in natural light was the most important reason. “Two basement floors have been made as technical corridors underneath the concrete floor”, Patrick explains. “The three remaining corridors are accessible to the researchers and the students, and two of the corridors are technical corridors. The basements are closed off with metal gratings where the people above the basement can walk on.”
View on the basement
Each compartment has individual climate control, connected to the Hoogendoorn Climate Computer. Heating and cooling is achieved with a heat pump connected to an aquifer for seasonal heat energy storage.
Left: Bosman Van Zaal employees in front of, the individual climate control. Right: Top view of the heat storage tanks (WOT).
In order to reduce the influence of artificial light on experiments, WUR researchers need a broad spectrum of lighting. Traditionally, WUR greenhouses are equipped with HPS lighting. Fluence proposed the PhysioSpec solution that suits the spectral requirements and provides a higher light level. Each compartment receives individual lighting control, linked to the Hoogendoorn Climate Computer. "By using our compact VYPR 2×2 full spectrum LED luminaires with the new compact PSU drivers and VYPR reflectors, we minimize shading and optimize overall uniformity," says Theo Tekstra, Technical Director of Fluence in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
On 7 February, the symbolic highest point of the greenhouse was reached and it was celebrated