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Growing Greener Tomatoes

Greenhouse Project Diverts Waste CO2 for Plant Production, Reaching Near-Total Efficiency

Jenbacher J624

The J624 with advanced two-stage turbocharging is based on proven technology from the automotive industry and GE's Type 6 gas engine design concept to deliver higher output and increased efficiency.

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A Need for Flexibility and Low Emissions

Houweling’s Tomatoes, a leading North American greenhouse grower with a strong environmental record, sought an ultra-efficient, combined heat-and-power system for its 125-acre greenhouses in Camarillo, California, that would generate flexible power for the local utility and establish one of the lowest carbon dioxide (CO2)-emissions and water-usage levels of any similarly sized power plant in the region.

Houweling's would need to cut energy consumption and recycle waste heat and CO2 in order to achieve the goal of almost 100 percent overall efficiency in heating and powering the greenhouse.

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Using Jenbacher for CHP

GE provided Houweling's with three of its 4.36 MW, Jenbacher J624 natural gas engines and a CO2 fertilization system to create the first CHP greenhouse project in the U.S. that captures CO2 from combustion for plant fertilization. The CHP system furnishes 13 MW of electrical power and 15.9 MW of thermal power. 

The greenhouses recover thermal energy in exhaust gas heat exchangers and use very low water temperatures in the heating system to cool exhaust temperatures below the dew point. With a five-minute startup capability, the plant generates enough energy to power the local grid during peak demand periods.

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