Monday, December 5, 2016 - 10:09

With the directors being environmentally conscious the decision was made to embark on a solar thermal project in order to produce hot water via solar technology for the heating of the greenhouses.

A solar collector field is in the process of being erected on the premises in close proximity to the greenhouses.  The collector field will harvest solar energy during the day, this energy will be utilised to heat water which in turn will be used to heat the greenhouses.

LVG grows plants in state of the art greenhouses – diffused plastic with sun screens and pad-fan cooling systems.  Greenhouses are heated all year round by pipe heating.  Some greenhouses require a constant temperature of 28º C or more all year round.

Currently LVG has 2 coal boilers of 10 MW in a separate boiler room.  One boiler is sufficient to heat the total plant, however it is of vital importance that a 2nd boiler is on standby should the need arise.  Total coal consumption is approx 3 285 tons per year.    Average coal consumption in winter is 11 tonnes per day, with an average of 8 tonnes per day in summer.  In summer, most of this energy is used to keep the boiler in “standby” operation.  The solar project will significantly reduce the carbon footprint and impact that LVG has on the environment.