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How to keep your greenhouse frost free

Frost can damage pipes and tubes

What can you do to reduce the risk of damage during winter, unnecessary crop downtime, high costs and damage caused by frost?

1. Pipes and drains 
Make sure rainwater and condensation in pipes and drains can drain away by turning on an immersion system or opening a drain line in time. This prevents pipes and drains from freezing and bursting. 
  
 2. Windows 
De-ice the greenhouse deck and facades as soon as possible to prevent windows from breaking. 
Do not open the vents if they are frozen shut. Set the climate computer to leave the vents closed until the outside temperature is 3 to 4 degrees above zero. 
Also, measure the temperature above the screen. This can easily be done by hanging a temperature sensor there as well. A temperature sensor on the aluminum deck system provides extensive insight into the deck temperature and will help you know when you can safely open the vents. 
Do not allow the temperature above the screen to fall below +4ºC. This is especially relevant in the early morning. Notice: +4ºC is a recommendation; your situation may be different, depending on the winter weather conditions. Monitor the temperature closely.
 
3. Thermal screens 
Insulated thermal screens can become frozen in place. If the temperature between the glass and the facade screen drops below freezing, condensation droplets running down can get into the fabric, causing the screen to become frozen in place. The motor of the screen system will be unable to turn, which can damage both the motor and the fabric. 
Check whether the fabric is frozen in place before opening the roller screen. 
If it is not necessary for the screen cloth to open, leave it closed. 
If the screen is frozen solid, remove the default settings from the climate computer that opens the facade screen in the morning.
 
4. Water silos 
Install heating hoses on a separate circuit. You can do this with a heat exchanger. 
If ice forms on the top and sides of the water silo during a frost period, stop using water from the silo. The ice formation creates a layer of air under the ice. The weight of the ice causes the ice layer to pull on the foil, and possibly the anti-algae sheet, leading to additional wear and damage to your silo.
 
5. Coolers 
Consult with your CHP plant's maintenance contractor regarding who is responsible for checking the mixture in the cooler. Annual inspection of this mixture is necessary because the water to refrigerant ratio determines the maximum temperature the cooler can withstand. 
Place a temperature monitor in the water circuit and connect it to the central alarm. 
Connect the circulation system for the cooler and heat supply to an emergency generator. This guarantees continued circulation in case of power failure.
 
6. Air handling units 
 The air handling units’ louvres are vulnerable to low temperatures. Monitor the temperature of the circulating water and safeguard it with an alarm. 
 
We are happy to help 
It is important to know that you are not alone. Your insurance broker is happy to give you advice to help you prepare for a harsh winter as well as possible. 

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