Hot Water Heat: Save Money, Cut Disease
by Michael Kovalycsik, National Sales & Marketing Director, Delta T Solutions
Unreliable fuel prices have everyone searching for ways to cut costs, and in an industry that is increasingly more concerned with the environment and growing more sustainably, we all have a responsibility to maximize energy efficiency. Hydronic heating is an affordable option that will heat plants and greenhouses more effectively than conventional systems, allowing growers to save money on energy bills while improving plant health and producing high-quality, uniform crops.
RADIANT HEAT IN ACTION
The process works through thermal radiation, which travels in invisible waves through empty space. Radiant heat is absorbed by the objects in its path, rather than in the air. This makes it more effective than forced air heating because it utilizes heat transfer, along with a superior conductor of heat in the form of a liquid, versus forced air, which relies solely on convection and air. The result is a consistent, comfortable temperature that makes the greenhouse feel warmer at lower air temperatures than are required with conventional heating systems.
While forced air systems offer the most system choices in all levels of efficiency, air ducts in these conventional systems are hard to seal. A large proportion of heat is lost before it even reaches its destination. Conversely, hydronic radiant heating uses a closed loop system that loses very little heat while moving heated water to its destination. Requiring very little electricity to run, hydronic heating is ideal for growing operations in areas with high electric fees.
The foundation of a reliable hydronic heating system is an energy-efficient boiler, like Delta T Solutions’ RBI Boilers. These integral, 2-pass heat exchanger and standard bronze headers virtually eliminate standby losses and condensation problems. Ideal for hydronic heating, the RBI line provides options in natural draft and sealed combustion boilers, as well as oil fired and electronic boilers.
Other energy options, including some that can work in tandem with a boiler, are:
These systems heat the water that runs radiant floor, in-ground and bench systems including Delta T Systems’ line of products:
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN
In the interest of promoting sustainable energy sources, many government tax incentives are available for grower operations using highly energy efficient heating methods. Even better, millions of dollars in grant money through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) initiatives can help growers pay for new systems.
Find out how much heat your greenhouse operation needs on a per greenhouse level by simply downloading Delta T Solutions’ heat loss calculator. To perform a cost analysis on a new hydronic heating system compared to your current system, call 800-552-5058 or e-mail email@example.com to contact a Delta T Solutions consultant.
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