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01.08.2013 Mini-CHP for greenhouses

Mini-CHP for greenhouses
Specific conditions in green houses allow you to cultivate different plants annually even in harsh conditions. The specialists of ROLT power systems ( know that greenhouses requires high technologies and effective energy supply. For many farmers the cost of energy products makes 50-60% of self-cost of a product. 

To heat the air or water in greenhouses you need much heat energy especially at low air temperatures. So many farmers use boiler houses where they burn fuel (gas, coal, etc) only to get heat energy. Electricity for greenhouse equipment (pumps, fans, transporters) is usually provided by local power supply companies. It is not a secret that many electricity transmission lines and commentators are worn out. But no one can be sure that someday despite of the high cost of power it will face black-outs and as a results bear huge losses because long lacks of heat and electricity supply lead to breaks of technologic possesses and decrease of harvest, illness and crop failure. 

ROLT power systems knows that the relations between greenhouse complexes and electricity distributors are not as fruitful as they could be. For example, some power supply companies require from farmers to sign contracts for energy supply of greenhouses considering hour limits for power. These demands put serious problems before farmers – power supply of greenhouses depends on the temperature of air and weather that is difficult to forecast even for a month. 

Photosynthesis influences the growth of plants. Its main source is light and the pace of plant growth depends on the amount of light they get. So many greenhouse companies in northern countries use supplementary lightning especially in winter or autumn when the light day is shorter. 

It is well-known that the right technology of lightning allows to double productivity, prolong the season, increase the amount of plants and improve the quality of production. Limited offer in agricultural market and rather high prices during autumn-spring period makes supplementary lightning rather profitable. Although this technology requires much power: up to 100 W for 1 m2 to get 6-7 klux. High productivity can be reached at the level of 20 klux and higher. So the amount of lightning has to be increased and more electricity will be spent. As a result total power supply of greenhouse complex with supplementary lightning can reach 10 MW.

Generally the following figures are brought: power supply of 1 ha of greenhouse requires about 1 MW of electricity and 2 MW of heat. Considering high price for the product you can attain the decrease of self-cost and increase of the profit only by reducing “power factor”.

Specialists of ROLT power systems analyzed the ways of power supply of greenhouses and found out that autonomous generation is the best solution. Indeed, power plant allow not only to exclude or reduce payments to power supply companies but also increase productivity because of carbon dioxide which exhaust gases contain in huge amounts.

Technological process looks like this: cogeneration plant produces power and heat-exchangers give heat from exhaust gases, lubrication and cooling systems to external circuit of the customer. At the same time combustions gases are exhausted. Then exhaust gases are cleaned and cooled in heat-exchanger till the necessary temperature (about +50°C). Rotary-bladed turbo-fans mix gases with air in the greenhouse and then they are delivered directly to the base of plants. Air contains about 350 parts of carbon dioxide and greenhouse air must contain 700-800 parts of CO2 for quick growth of different plants (depending on the type). Mini-CHP of 1 MW produces 372 m3 of CO2 for 1 hour at annual average load of 75% at normal pressure. Such gas contains 700 ppm of CO2. This approach increases productivity of one greenhouse for 40%. The profit is evident!

It is worth mentioning that power centres for greenhouses are the best solutions for autonomous power generation. In this case fuel utilization factor make 95-97%. Indeed apart from electric and heat power supply consumer gets the source of photosynthesis for carbon nutrition of the plants. Electricity is spent for auxiliaries and artificial lightning of greenhouses and heat recovery system supply agricultural complex with heat.

Our specialists suppose that gas reciprocating power plants can effectively supply energy for greenhouses. Our power plants work according to the scheme shown at the picture. Moreover, this scheme allows to use heat of all cooling circuits of CHP with different temperature schedule. Heating system of with circuit separation proved to be effective to save heat and improve temperature fields of greenhouses. Such schemes are widely spread in Europe – Belgium, Denmark, France, Spain, UK but they are mostly effective in the Netherlands. Here people have been growing flowers and vegetables for years so they made circuit separation system unique. As fuel you can use natural gas or biogas – product of degradation of wastes. Apart from heat recovery system and switchgears 6.3  kW and 0.4 kW power centre must contain CO2 extraction system from flue gases.

Module (container) mini-CHP will satisfy the requirements of greenhouse owners. Indeed, Rolt PS power plant with heat recovery system is a serial turn-key product with the following advantages:
  • Commissioning and construction works can be done soon after delivery,
  • Few requirements to the basement,
  • Simple integration of mini-CHP into the system of electric- and heat supply of greenhouses,
  • Module mini-CHP can be easily fitted into limited area,
  • Full correspondence to world standards,
  • The chosen solution can be scaled,
  • High level of automation allows mini-CHP to operate without constant presence of personnel;
You can see our product range of gas reciprocating power plants here (
As a result you increase productivity of you greenhouses, reliability and quality of heat and energy supply and also reduce expenditures for power supply companies. If you use biogas, you will not depend on fuel suppliers and additional sources of fertilization.
In case of any questions, please, contact our managers who will give you qualified consultation about technology, price, terms and equipment of the projects for greenhouses.

Summary of the company

ROLT power systems is the leading Russian manufacturer of block-module power plants. Our production capacities (situated in Kolomna, Moscow region) allow packaging up to 19 models of gas reciprocating and diesel power plants under the label Rolt PS.

The central office is situated in Moscow, the factory – in Kolomna, Moscow region. Regional branches maintain the solutions we offer on the whole territory of our country – from Kaliningrad to Siberia. Our company also has its affiliates in the UK and CIS.

To our customers we offer turn-key solutions: full designer documentation, manufacturing of the products at our factory, commissioning and maintenance works of the equipment.  

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