Frank van Kleef: 'We again opted for the HortiMaX MultiMa'

Tomato growers 'Van den Ende-Van Kleef' have again opted for a HortiMaX MultiMa computer to control the climate, irrigation and energy usage at their brand-new 74-acre operation ‘Royal Pride Holland’ in the Netherlands. At their other operation, where they grow 32 acres of tomatoes, Van den Ende-Van Kleef have used the MultiMa with complete satisfaction for years now. ‘The computer does what it’s supposed to do, such as controlling the climate and irrigation, and managing our energy sources and usage. The MultiMa also includes easy-to-use operating software, which all of our staff are able to work with’, said Frank van Kleef, who dislikes equipment with complicated controls. 

‘One of the other main benefits is that we are able to program as many daily periods as we need.’
The 74-acre operation in Middenmeer covers 55 acres of vine cocktail tomatoes and 18 acres of vine cherry tomatoes, half of which is equipped with supplementary lighting. The electricity required by the lighting systems is generated with six 3-Megawatt CHP units. The business uses the Electricity Control module, which is integrated in the MultiMa software, to manage energy generation and consumption. This module allows them to program how many megawatts their supplementary lighting system may use, and how this electricity is to be supplied. If either too little or too much electricity is available, power can be bought or sold on the APX exchange or Imbalance Market.

The Synopta management software is able to generate clear reports with graphs and tables, showing the plant temperature measured by the infrared cameras or the water content and slab and plant weight measured by the ProDrain, for instance. ‘These single-page reports enable me to see at a glance what is happening in the glasshouse’, said Van Kleef.

 

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