Full-scale climate solution for Aarhus University in Denmark
A full-scale climate solution at Aarhus University in Denmark enables state-of-the-art horticultural research, which is necessary for the future of horticulture and commercial greenhouses. Innovative functionality is crucial for the complex setup at the university, but so are stable and reliable operational processes. For this reason, Aarhus University chose Senmatic as main supplier of controller technology and the following maintenance of the installation.
In order to meet the demand for state-of-the-art horticultural research, a new growth building consisting of 26 compartments was built as part of the research facilities at Danish Aarhus University (AU) in 2019. The thorough research at the university is key to future insights in the industry, and thus AU needed a complex, full-scale setup.
“Several different researchers have to be able to use the setup for each of their research focusses – both now and in the future. Therefore, it was imperative for us to ensure a solution, where both climate, fertilizing and irrigation was connected.”Jørgen Rosager Consulting Engineer at Aarhus University
The installation has high-level climate control, including irrigation and fertilizer mixers, LED growth light, humidity, electrical installation, and control of all parts in the greenhouse. All of the functions are controlled through climate computers handled and monitored from the office buildings next to the growth chambers.
“Both small and large experiments are performed in the 26 cells, where several different aspects of the growing process are controlled and monitored”, Jørn Rosager, Consulting Engineer at Aarhus University explains, and continues: “Therefore, functionalities such as ventilation, shadow, light, humidity and Co2 have been necessary to install”. Besides these functionalities, irrigation control and fertilizers have been installed; two fertilizers in each compartment.
“At the university, they had a special requirement for return water control through an osmosis system. This enables the researchers to control water and return basins for each production table. The system was specifically built for the setup – and therefore adapted for their concrete needs. This sort of assignment isn’t unknown for Senmatic, as we are always able to adapt our solutions for the specific business case”Flemming Hansen Project Manager, Senmatic A/S
A high-capacity climate computer to combine functionality control
Due to the complex setup with different growth focusses, several compartments, and multi-functional technology, Aarhus University needed a high-capacity climate control. Therefore, they invested in two LCC4 climate computers with SuperLink. The LCC4 computers give the researchers advanced data management and an extremely high degree of control – necessary for the high-level horticultural research they are performing.
“When conducting horticultural research, we need to be able to have thorough data collections and clear historical data views displayed through graphs and curves. The climate computers from Senmatic provide us with just that – and all in Danish, which is an important aspect, that many of the competing suppliers weren’t able to deliver”, Jørn Rosager explains.
“Senmatic’s climate computer is able to communicate with the LED lights. This is an advanced detail we couldn’t find from other suppliers, and it emphasizes the innovation and high quality of Senmatic’s products. We have been very satisfied to work with as reputable a company as Senmatic”Jørgen Rosager Consulting Engineer at Aarhus University
Ultimate climate control for all greenhouses
Greenhouses contain ecosystems that need high-quality climate control to ensure the best growing conditions. The different climate components and processes is most effectively adjusted to one another through electronic climate control. Electronic and automated climate control is relevant for all commercial greenhouses and horticultural setups, as is entails several advantages:
- Increase production output and yield
- Ensure higher crop quality
- Improve efficiency and save resources
- Prevent waste of energy, water and nutrients
- Improve growing precision through accurate control
- Ensure a minimum of errors with a user-friendly and data-driven climate computer
High crop control with LED grow light
LED grow light is essential when high controllability is required in a horticultural setup. The LED lights have the colour spectrum and intensity to best stimulate plant growth, and it enables growers to control the spectral distribution so the light can be optimally matched to the photosynthetic action spectrum. The main advantages of LED grow lights are:
- Fine-tune the spectral distribution
- Upscale or convert production
- Lower energy costs
- Increase product quality
Senmatic as partner throughout the entire process
The complex installation has required thorough planning and counselling. Being experts in both small and large horticultural setups, Senmatic appointed a project managing team for Aarhus University, who took charge on both planning, setup-sketching, counselling, offering, installation and the following maintenance.
Senmatic initiated the building process by mounting piping in the floors – and finished the process by installing all necessary climate installations. After 3 months, the growth building and new research facility is ready, but Senmatic’s role isn’t over.
“Now the focus is on maintenance, service, sensor calibration and counselling on general operations – and we are extremely pleased with both the cooperation with Aarhus University and the final outcome. We look forward to initiating the research processes with proper onboarding”, says Flemming Hansen from Senmatic.
The installation contains several advanced functions with automations and operational dependencies:
“To be able to utilize these most effectlively, we need the proper training and guidance from Senmatic”, Jørn Rosager explains, and continues: “But we are ready for the researchers to start using the setup and discovering the new possibilities. Maybe a function as adjustment of the spectral distribution will lead to new relevant insights for the industry”.
“This project competently illustrates how we always work no matter the installation scale: as installation partners from initial counselling, over technology installing to quality maintenance. And always with the grower’s specific needs in focus.”Flemming Hansen Project Manager, Senmatic A/S
Get to know more already today
Are you interested in learning more about full-scale climate installations? Or are you looking to advance with smaller technologies for now? At Senmatic, we are experts on both processes, and we look forward to talking to you about your opportunities. Reach out today!
Innovative greenhouses inside shipping containers
This new type of greenhouse is created inside of shipping containers that are equipped with LED grow lights, fertilizer mixers and climate control from Senmatic. This concept of greenhouses is called BoxXLand, and creates a unique and adjustable climate to efficiently grow a wide range of cultures e.g. lettuce and herbs.