The Westcoast Vegetables and Westcoast Produce greenhouse operation is located in Delta, British Columbia. With a total of 36 acres of under-the-glass greenhouse, the facility consists of two side-by-side greenhouses and is a significant producer of cucumbers and peppers in the province.
Considering the energy costs and its volatility, most Canadian greenhouse growers presently search for ways to reduce their energy costs and improve their energy sustainability through considering alternative energy resources. The first step towards adopting a sound energy saving or alternative energy policy for a greenhouse operation is to conduct a comprehensive energy audit of the entire operation and facility, to explore all viable resources and technologies available for reducing fuel-based energy consumption, and to cut energy costs.
For this project, we conducted a comprehensive energy audit and process integration analysis that identified optimal interactions between systems. We also designed a dynamic energy model for the facility to act as an “expert system” in helping the management optimize its energy and CO2 consumption, while enhancing the energy recycling, saving, and storing capabilities of the system.