Our data engineers have developed a comprehensive online tool that compares the energy savings of a Ceres sealed greenhouse against a traditional greenhouse design and an indoor grow room. The purpose of the tool is for users to see a breakdown of power consumption and CO2 emission data from those three types of facilities, for different sizes of grow spaces.
At Ceres, data is the backbone from which our greenhouse innovation evolves. Accumulating data from our clients’ greenhouses allows for us to analyze trends, and continuously optimize our systems. We’re excited to have the opportunity to share some of our greenhouse data with the public in the form of this energy calculator. Below is a rundown of how it works and how to interpret the results.
Data for the standard greenhouse design and indoor grow room comparison come from a number of sources, including eQuest Energy Modeling, Resource Innovation Institute Studies and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project Study. The data for the Ceres sealed greenhouse design is based off a facility in Denver, Colorado.
When you, as the user, arrive at the energy calculator page you have the option to select from four different sizes of grow spaces. These sizes are congruent with common Ceres greenhouse dimensions.
Once you’ve selected a greenhouse size, the calculator will present a side by side facility comparison of energy savings and consumption, and then a more detailed breakdown for each. Energy data is reported in (x1000)kWh. Snapshots of the report are displayed below:
The numbers above reflect a grow space of 920 sq. ft. (23’x40’). From this graph you can see that a standard greenhouse design achieves an energy savings of 68,000 kWh compared to an indoor grow and a Ceres design saves 140,000 kWh. You can also see the total energy consumption numbers per facility, which should give you a good idea of utility cost comparison.
How is greenhouse power consumption allocated? The Ceres energy calculator gives a breakdown of energy production and conservation for the following grow systems: supplemental lighting, circulation fans and miscellaneous loads, space cooling and dehumidification and space heating.
From this breakdown you can see that an indoor grow room expends more energy on lighting and cooling/dehumidification than a standard greenhouse design and a Ceres greenhouse. Also, a traditional greenhouse uses more energy on heating than a Ceres greenhouse. This is because Ceres greenhouses are designed to act as thermal batteries. We insulate the North, East and West walls to retain heat from solar gain and diminish the amount of heat loss through glazing. In this way our patented passive solar design saves growers money on heating costs. For a more in-depth explanation of the consumption comparison, please contact a greenhouse expert.
We also want growers to consider their carbon footprint when comparing different grow facilities. That’s why we’ve included a CO2 emissions report so you can see the environmental impact of each design.
The numbers in the carbon clouds signify how much CO2 is induced by producing a year of electricity in each facility. The emission numbers were calculated from an average national carbon footprint of 987 lb CO2/MWh*.
When it comes to comparing grow facilities, there are many different types of systems and designs at play, and comparing them apples to apples can seem difficult. We’ve condensed a lot of information into this tool, but we’re happy to explain it more in-depth if you’re interested in digging deeper into the data. If you want to talk numbers with us, or if you want an exact summary of your savings based on your location and climate, contact us. A greenhouse expert is waiting to hear from you.
*On average, a US facility is releasing 987 pounds of carbon per one MWh of electricity produced.