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Solving water and energy issues for first grade tomatoes

More than doubling the capacity of the d’VineRipe tomato glasshouse complex in Two Wells, South Australia from 8 hectares to 17 hectares brought challenges as well as opportunities. Achieving the massive increase in tomato output along with the welcome local employment opportunities also entailed solving issues of water usage and energy efficiency in a climate where temperatures fluctuate from -2°C to +47°C. Munters Euroemme® fans and CELdek® pads play a central role in making it all possible.

Increase the tomato output and solving the efficiency issues of water and energy usage

Munters state-of-the-art pad and fan technology was already at the heart of the d’VineRipe first phase 8 Ha glass house complex. Here the technology has already proved its ability to consistently maintain temperatures inside the glasshouse complex at a permanent 24-28°C and humidity between 65% and 75% regardless of the outside temperature. Hence it was not difficult for them to adopt the same technology for the second stage of 9 Ha. Also, the water used for cooling and humidifying the growing environment is all obtained from sustainable sources. The general Manager, Leon Maree, notes that “no other type of system could provide the same benefits as a pad and fan system and that achieving a higher than average percentage of first grade fruits in production is due to the excellent climate control qualities of the system”. This is a powerful endorsement from the General Manager of one of the largest tomato glasshouses in the southern hemisphere.

Installing Munters Euroemme® fans and CELdek® pads

A total of 6,010 Munters CELdek pads each measuring 1.53 m height, 0.6 m wide and 0.15 m thick manufactured from the highest quality materials resistant to algae and mould. Total area of pad used amounted to 5,517 m2 that assist in maintaining the humidity and temperature inside the glasshouse. The glasshouse roof is routinely spray painted by helicopter with white paint for the hottest summer months, then washed clean to benefit from the sunshine during the winter. The evaporative cooling pads are held securely by the Munters wet wall system which is manufactured from corrosion resistant stainless steel material for a long, trouble-free service life. The modular system also allows for easy installation, simple routine inspection and periodic maintenance. Water is recycled from the wet wall system for re-use.

Quick facts

  • Consistent temperature and humidity control
  • Higher than average percentage of first grade tomatoes
  • Predictable and higher ROI than with field-grown crops
  • Reduced risk of disease
  • Reduced use of herbicide/pesticide
  • Reduces water and power consumption

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