Green technology revolutionizes Canadian greenhouse

April 25, 2014 0 By Angie Bergenson

A greenhouse in Ladner, B.C. has introduced innovative clean energy technology.

In recent green technology news, the first on-site quadgeneration project for a greenhouse began at a Village Farms greenhouse in Ladner, a community located in Delta, British Columbia, Canada.

The $7.5 million project utilizes fuel cell technology.

Dubbed the “clean-tech” project, this multi-million dollar plan was the result of a partnership formed among Village Farms, FuelCell Energy Inc., Quadrogen Power Systems Inc. and the National Research Council of Canada. The project was funded by a number of agri-food organizations.

Fuel cell technology has been used in the Village Farms operation to process landfill gas in order to commercially produce renewable food-grade carbon dioxide (CO2) and heat. It also generates hydrogen and electricity. The fuel cell uses an electro-chemical process that is highly efficient, producing power that is capable of evading the emission of almost any contaminants because combustion is not a factor.

The way in which the fuel cell has been used has resulted in highly advanced greenhouse technology that is believed to be the most advanced achievement for a greenhouse using this tech, ever.

Village Farms International’s chief financial officer, Stephen Ruffini, has said what the “technology has the potential for doing for us is taking the landfill gas, creating CO2, which we can then put in the greenhouse, and reduce our consumption of natural gas.”

Quadgeneration is the next green technology step for Village Farms.

Village Farm became the first to include cogeneration in its local greenhouse. Many years ago it partnered with Maxim Power to generate heat from landfill gas. Cogeneration is a process that combines both heat and power to generate electric and thermal energy. The excess electricity generated is sold back to B.C. Hydro on the grid. However, the new quadgeneration project takes green technology in greenhouses to the next level because in addition to producing power and heat, hydrogen and carbon dioxide are also generated.

Greenhouses within the municipality of Delta are now permitted to include cogeneration facilities, which was approved by the Delta council this year. In addition to more green technology being used by greenhouse businesses, Delta farms are anticipated to begin utilizing animal waste for on-site facilities that convert waste into energy.

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