A screen for each hectare of space

With eight screens in front of him, manager Bart Bakker can keep track of everything what is happening at the Dutch chrysanthemum nursery he works for. He can also, however, review the energy market or search for information on the Internet.

Chrysanthemum grower Lies van Wijk’s previous MultiMa computer was a three-screen system which he used to control the climate, irrigation and energy consumption. When he expanded his business from 3 hectares to 8 last year, he also upgraded his control system with five additional screens and a larger server.

The Synopta management and information system lets you link multiple screens, a feature which Lies van Wijk has used to the full. ‘I want to see what is happening in my nursery at a glance. Before the expansion, three screens were enough for this purpose. Now I need six screens; the other two I use to display other information.’

The grower built the frame to which the screens are mounted himself. He also customized the software to show where irrigation was being applied and what EC level was being used. The software uses different colours to indicate what is happening in the nursery.

It takes Lies van Wijk about an hour per summary to customize the software. The top left figure shows the grower reviewing the electricity imbalance market. ‘I’ve contracted most of my trade in electricity out to Westland Energie. The summaries allow me to decide quickly what to do if one of my CHP units breaks down. When prices are high, I try to generate more electricity than when prices are low.’
 

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