As the horticulture industry faces both ever-increasing global food demand and climate change, greenhouse growers are looking for solutions that can adapt to changing conditions. Enter Hortinergy, a company that offers advanced online software that simulates the indoor climate and energy consumption of a greenhouse project.
Vincent Stauffer, director of Hortinergy, explained that “Hortinergy provides software that simulates the climate and energy consumption inside a greenhouse, doing so for any geographic location and a wide range of crops. in the greenhouse”. Going even further, Hortinergy can model these conditions according to different greenhouse models and lighting systems. Hortinergy developed its software suite in collaboration with Agrithermic, an independent engineering firm specializing in greenhouse energy efficiency and climate control.
By simulating the climatic and energy performance of a greenhouse, the Hortinergy software facilitates the comparison of technical solutions for a greenhouse project and the reduction of energy costs. “The Hortinergy software has very advanced functionality,” explains Vincent. “It allows to model the energy consumption in closed greenhouses, semi-closed greenhouses, with different glazing materials, shading screens, artificial lighting, etc.”
When using the software, the user first fills out a form with all the information about your greenhouse, including location and target crops. Within 20 minutes of submitting the form, the user receives the calculated results in the form of a complete PDF report, a spreadsheet with hourly results data for a year and a spreadsheet with weekly and monthly results data for one year. With these results in hand, the user can then fill out the form again but with a different scenario; the scenarios can then be easily compared thanks to the software’s comparison interface, which allows the user to compare the scenarios on a technical and economic level.
In collaboration with Meteonorm, Hortinergy has released a module that simulates different IPCC scenarios for 2030, 2040, 2050 and 2100, enabling a greenhouse design that will stand the test of time and climate change.
The Hortinergy software is mainly used by crop advisors, research centers, greenhouse consultants and various equipment suppliers, who can then make better recommendations to growers regarding greenhouse design. The software is used in Asia, Europe and parts of Africa. In 2021, the company has prioritized its expansion in North America, namely the United States and Canada.