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Partner: Swanton Nurseries

Partner: Swanton Nurseries

18 July, 2017

The Need

Swanton Nurseries is a family-run nursery business with products home- grown on location in Skibbereen, West Cork. They supply garden centres, DIY hardware stores and shops. With state of the art greenhouses they grow a vast range of bedding plants, herbs, climbers, clematis, fruit, shrubs and hedging. They also supply a wide selection of planted hanging baskets and containers. With a new state of the art heating system, Swanton Nurseries had a need to ensure that it performed at the maximum level, resulting in lower energy costs and optimizing conditions for plant growth. Lacking relevant knowledge and suitable facilities to develop such a monitoring system, Swanton Nurseries applied for an Innovation Voucher and worked with TEC Gateway at the Nimbus Centre in CIT.

The Solution

Nimbus engineers travelled to Swanton Nurseries to assess the current underground heating system. Resulting from that visit, an updated monitoring system was developed and tested in the laboratory of the Nimbus Centre. The improvements made were the following:

1. Temperature sensors to measure outside & inside air, flower beds, return to air to water heat pumps and hot water storage tank.

2. Wireless communications to transfer temperature readings.

3. Graphics used to deliver information.

4. System can be used on other greenhouses at the nursery.

5. Facilitates communication to the greenhouse to control heating/ventilation systems.

Benefits of the Engagement

Swanton Nurseries has been in business since 1987 and they have always had high levels of product quality. Thanks to the vast improvements made to the heating systems in their greenhouses, they can maintain that level of quality for their customers. Swanton Nurseries can now monitor the greenhouses from a distance and speed up the decision-making process for turning on and off the heating. These improvements were possible due to the openness and clear communication between the management of Swanton Nurseries and the engineers who developed the monitoring system. ‘TEC has brought a wealth of knowledge on what’s best and how to develop a monitoring system at the nursery. They’ve shown great vision on how to develop and analyse the information. They have been a pleasure to work with.’ - Trevor Swanton, Owner/Director of Swanton Nurseries.

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