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Off-Grid Automatic Greenhouse Ventilation
If you’ve got an off-grid greenhouse in a remote location, you can still set up automatic ventilation with a system from Advancing Alternatives in Schuylkill Haven, Penn. The kit includes solar panels, batteries, controllers and a converter to operate roll-up sidewalls. Customers use 24-volt motors to open and close roll-up curtains to maintain a desired operating temperature inside the greenhouse.
    “We developed solar to work with low voltage motors as the solar controllers and battery backup require that no more than 24-volt power be used,” says company representative Kathy Hubble.
    Automating the curtains saves labor costs for large operations that would otherwise hire people to manually raise and lower the curtains. Allowing greenhouses to use natural ventilation also benefits plants. Air flowing through moves leaves, which creates shorter internode spacing for superior branching. That makes the plants tougher and more immune to diseases and insects.
    A typical kit sells for around $4,000 and includes a 3 by 4-ft. solar panel, solar charge controller, 12 to 24-volt converter, staged curtain controller, and 5-day backup AGM sealed battery allows a low voltage motor (sold separately) to raise and lower up to a 300-ft. long, 8-ft. tall curtain.
    Advancing Alternatives and their dealers also work with customers to put together parts to retrofit existing curtain systems.
    “The one thing that makes these unique is that we’re geared to the greenhouse industry,” Hubble says. “We use motors that are meant to last several years. It’s a growing and new industry, so we’re constantly making changes and updating our systems and programs.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Advancing Alternatives, 2016 Single Tree Ln, Lancaster, Penn 17602 (ph 877 546-2257; https://www.advancingalternatives.com).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6