Net Zero Greenhouses
We design our greenhouses to be both productive and long lasting, with a greener future in mind. We care about our environmental impact and understand that many of our clients do too. We also care about saving our clients money. Both of these aims are highly achievable with net zero and electric greenhouses. Ceres team of engineers will work with you to customize your greenhouse to be net zero and/or run on electricity powered by renewable energy. Grow more, pay less in utilities, and make a minimal environmental impact.
What is a Net Zero Greenhouse?
To be a net zero greenhouse, it needs to generate 100% of its energy on-site. If your greenhouse is generating more than 100% of the energy it is using, then you have a net positive greenhouse. There are various systems that can be implemented to make your greenhouse net zero or net positive. Which systems to include will depend on climate and growing needs and will vary from project to project. We work with you to design your system to run efficiently and require zero energy.
What are Electric Greenhouses?
Our passive solar greenhouses are designed and built to operate solely on electricity, with or without solar panels, if requested by a client.
Because of our passive design, which includes higher insulation and light intensification, a Ceres greenhouse requires less heating in general.
*If requested, we can also incorporate solar thermal heating (hot water), as well as pellet stoves.
Wind Power + Energy Efficient Greenhouses
Our greenhouses are vastly more efficient than any model on the market. We pair our efficient passive solar design with innovative heating / cooling systems and power these with renewable energies in order to produce net zero and fully electric greenhouses.
Benefits of wind energy:
- Current incentives can cover 80% of project expenses
- Wind turbines generate electricity 75%-80% of time (any gap in electrical needs can be served with solar energy)
- Wind is abundant
One centralized system for controlling the whole environment. Monitor temperature, relative humidity, and CO2, leaf/ canopy temp, PAR, lighting zones, and outdoor weather.
We offer Ceres designed EcoLoop™ or EcoPack™ HVAC options depending on growing goals, budget, site constraints, and greenhouse type. All Ceres environmental controls are custom integrated to suit your needs.
The GAHT® system is a ground to air heat exchanger, a system often referred to as a ‘Climate Battery’. Ceres leads the industry in climate battery technology, having designed and installed more systems in greenhouses than any other company in the world.
Different crops may demand specific lighting requirements. We offer a variety of lighting solutions designed to suit the needs of each individual operation.
A NetZero greenhouse will have zero net emissions. This goal is achieved through capturing and storing energy. This can be done using a various system options.
Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene is a durable, high light transmissive glazing option. It offers more than 95% light transmission, including the UV spectrum. More than other greenhouse companies, Ceres is implementing full spectrum glazings for maximum crop growth.
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Calculate Your Energy Savings
Find out how much you can save with Ceres Greenhouses compared to standard greenhouses.
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Net Zero, Electric Greenhouse FAQs
Ceres Greenhouse Solutions was founded with the goal to create net zero food production.
We have designed greenhouses that are highly insulated, use temperature controlling technologies that do not need any, or very little power, and leave the minimal essential functions to be operated by equipment powered by renewable electricity.
Insulation, insulation, insulation…. The most economical way to make a greenhouse energy efficient is to use plenty of insulation around the greenhouse in all areas that are not receiving direct sunlight. The remaining areas that are needed to bring light into the greenhouse need to be as insulated as possible while keeping the light levels in the greenhouse high. Triple layer polycarbonate is a decent choice (R2.6, 75% light transmission). A more advanced system is a 3 layer ETFE system (R3, 85%LT). Insulated doors, and a tight building envelope with minimum air infiltration is a must.
Residential growers typically add an electric heater for the coldest times of the year. We can help you integrate a back-up heater when designing your commercial greenhouse.
By far the most important energy saving technology is the usage of at least one layer of an energy curtain/shade cloth. For a highly insulated Ceres Greenhouse, the single layer system will decrease the heating load and cooling loads by at least 40%. Even better is the installation of a 2 layer shade and energy savings system. This 2 layer system will decrease the heating load by at least another 30%. These systems are so efficient because they only need an electric motor to open and close the curtains.
Less efficient in terms of energy savings, but also without any energy use is the installation of phase change materials. These materials are supplied as wall panels about ¼ inch (8 mm) thick and can be mounted on any solid surface like the north wall. Phase change materials work best on short cycles with cold nights and sunny days.
Additionally, a GAHT® system, which uses fans to store heat (or cold) in the ground when there is too much of it in the greenhouse, and when the heat (in winter) or cold air (in summer) is needed, the fans produce airflow in order to provide energy. The GAHT® works best seasonally, and is most efficient in highly insulated greenhouses.
Solar thermal panels can be used to heat water that can be used to increase soil temperatures.
Only a very small pump is needed to pump the warm water through the ground. Solar thermal panels do not help a lot during the hot summer months.
Other technologies that can be used to regulate the temperatures only by using electricity are dehumidifiers and electrical (water) heaters.
In order to make the whole facility a net zero facility, enough solar PV panels need to be installed to assure that there is always enough power and storage of energy available for the all electric greenhouse.
In most areas of the world, sustainably farmed produce can achieve a higher sales price as compared to conventional produce. Of course, highly insulated greenhouses will use significantly less energy and therefore operating cost is minimized.
The payback period for these investments depends on the price of energy. At the moment of this writing (spring 2023) with relatively high energy and capital cost, the payback period will be in the range of about 3 years.