Low-Cost Power, Heat, and CO₂ for Greenhouses
Cogeneration — A Natural Fit for High-Efficiency Greenhouse Agriculture
The health benefits of increased vegetable consumption are undeniable and farmers around the world are looking for innovative ways to support this market trend. The jump in global demand for vegetables means the world needs more greenhouses. Benefiting from free natural sunlight, greenhouses in colder climates need additional heating and artificial lighting to ensure optimum plant growth. A significant number of greenhouse operators will boost their harvest with CO2 fertilization — the perfect match for Enerflex’s natural gas cogeneration solutions.
A Clean Fuel for Green Growth
Natural gas cogeneration systems, engineered by Enerflex, offer greenhouses the combined products of electricity, heat, and CO2 from a single system and a single low-cost input — low-carbon natural gas. Cogeneration can make the greenhouse business more profitable with lower emissions.
When used in greenhouses, a natural gas-driven combined heat and power (CHP) system not only provides electricity, but also generates recoverable heat and CO2 from the exhaust to enhance plant growth via fertilization.
Enerflex CHP systems are modular, fully integrated, and occupy a small footprint. Our systems can reach combined efficiencies above 90% and can be coupled with thermal energy storage to match the offset timing of power, heat, and CO2 demand.
Enerflex in Action
- Coaldale, Alberta, Canada
Greenhouse Combined Heat and Power Plant
Enerflex supplied three high-efficiency Jenbacher JMC320 cogeneration modules to a greenhouse operation in Coaldale, Alberta. The natural gas greenhouse cogeneration units supply power and heat to the greenhouse operations, but also CO2 for plant fertilization. The exhaust of the three cogeneration modules are scrubbed by a special catalyst, then delivered back into the greenhouses to enhance plant photosynthesis.
The CHP plant at Coaldale operates at savings of 35% compared with power from the grid. At times of peak demand, power is supplied back to the grid, generating income for the joint venture. The plant enables the growers to replace fluctuating hourly electricity prices with steadier daily natural gas prices.