Gert-Jan Swinkels, a researcher at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture, has developed an app which is being used to monitor the current energy balance in the greenhouse on a mid-sized tomato nursery in the Dutch Westland.
This is the first app developed by Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture. The app was designed in partnership with Alterra and is currently available only for Android smartphones.
Known as ‘KASPRO Live’, the app provides live information every fifteen minutes on energy flows in a mid-sized tomato greenhouse in Westland. It also estimates the heating costs, so that a heating strategy can be determined for the coming days. KASPRO Live is based on live simulations of the greenhouse climate using the KASPRO simulation model. These simulations are carried out several times an hour.
According to Gert-Jan Swinkels, the app is a useful tool to gain a better understanding of the energy balance. “At the moment it contains data on the energy balance, heating strategy, temperature and insolation. We are using technology that we developed a few years ago for the ‘Kijk in de kas’ (‘Look in the greenhouse’) project. In that project, we monitored the climate and settings on five horticultural nurseries in the Netherlands ‘live’ via LetsGrow.com and produced six graphs. We plan to roll the app out further if the interest is there.”
The app can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play Store by anyone with an Android smartphone (e.g. HTC, Samsung). It is not (yet) available for the iPhone but an iPhone app will be developed if there turns out to be a lot of interest.