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Sick provides solutions for growing tomatoes in large greenhouses

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SICK Sensor Intelligence have created a solution piece for growing tomatoes in greenhouses. The company monitored CO2 and NOx in large greenhouses with the SICK gas analyzing system.


In order to grow, plants transform carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon by photosynthesis. Tomatoes can however “digest” much more than ambient air offers. By enriching the air in the greenhouse with CO2, the growth of the plants can be considerably increased in a natural and ecologically healthy way.

Combustion plants are often used for the generation of electricity and the heating of greenhouses. But their exhaust gases can also be recycled in a resource-friendly way - provided they are free from toxics. Diverted into fuel gas purification plants, they are reused for fertilization. Only if the prescribed NOx limit is observed, the exhaust gas with the growth supporting CO2 may be fed into the greenhouse.

Low amounts of nitric oxides are used as fertilizer, if the amounts are too high, they damage the plants. The NOx exhaust gases are transformed into nitrate and water by injection of reduction agents and downstream catalysis. By NOx measurement, the dosage of the reduction agent can be precisely controlled and reduced to a minimum. Moreover the NOx concentration must be measured to comply with the statutory emission limits. SICK was able to offer the suitable solution with a gas analyzing system.


Brilliant contribution to gas measurement

The GMS800 DEFOR gas analyzer with its ultraviolet measurement principle is especially suited for the measurement of the nitric oxides NO and NO2. For this purpose the NOx value is calculated by summation of the separately determined concentrations of the components NO and NO2. The special measuring method does not require a NOx converter. The summation of NO + NO2 to NOx is directly carried out in the analyzer.

With the GMS800 DEFOR even the smallest measuring ranges of 0 to 50 mg/m3 for NO and NO2 can be made. The complete extractive measurement system MAC800 consists of a heated extraction probe, the heated measuring gas line, a measuring gas pump, the analyzer GMS800 DEFOR and a device for the test gas admission. The control unit SCU P100 allows the system connection via Ethernet for remote maintenance.

Customer benefits

Reliable measurement also supports economic and ecological aspects

  • Thanks to the direct measurement of NO and NO2, NOx converter cartridges can be eliminated
  • Using the NOx measurement the consumption of SCR reducing agent is minimized, because reliable instantaneous values for control are available at any time
  • The catalyzer operation mode is optimized which lowers operating costs
  • By the use of the suitability-tested analyzing system a high grade of safety for persons and plants in the greenhouse is reached

photo credit: St0rmz via photopin cc

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