Tomato grower ripe for savings with CHP

The installation of a CHP system running on gas engines has sown the seeds for significant savings at a tomato-growing facility in Belgium.

The system, running on Perkins gas engines and installed by Belgian company E. Van Wingen (EVW) , is already making a difference to the facility, which is just outside Ghent and produces 600 tonnes of tomatoes a year. Previously it used central heating to warm its greenhouses – now heat from the 500 kW engine is pumped back into the greenhouse.

“Everything that comes out of the engine goes into the greenhouse,” said EVW boss Jean-Pierre Van Wingen.

The new installation included 14 km of hot pipes and 7 km of low temperature pipes across grower Gery Persoon’s 10,500 sq metre facility. The CHP system cost €500,000 and is expected to save Persoon around €100,000 a year – therefore it should pay for itself in five years’ time.