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Geothermal greenhouse project in Coz Coz ends giving the possibility of growing tomatoes 365 days a year

Geothermal greenhouse project in Coz Coz ends giving the possibility of growing tomatoes 365 days a year


With the discussion “Perspectives of the incorporation of geothermal energy to improve agricultural production in the Los Ríos Region”, the project “Geothermal greenhouse for growing tomatoes” financed by the Government’s Innovation Fund for Competitiveness (FIC) ended. Regional of Los Ríos and its Regional Council, held in the town of Coz Coz, commune of Panguipulli.

The activity, held at the Faculty of Sciences of the Austral University of Valdivia, was attended by the head of the Development and Industry Division of the Regional Government of Los Ríos, Miguel Ángel Martínez; the professional from the Access and Social Development Division of the Regional Ministerial Secretariat (Seremi) of Los Ríos, Johan Muñoz, and the director of CEGA, Diego Morata.

On the occasion, the participants of the discussion had the opportunity to discuss the current experience of the Los Ríos Region in the use of shallow geothermal energy, pointing to future challenges for the scaling of the experiences carried out, in order to replicate them in the rest. of the regional territory.

“We have successfully seen how the Los Ríos Region, thanks to public investment, has incorporated geothermal energy into its multiple possibilities, such as the direct use of hot springs; the implementation of Geothermal Heat Pumps for air conditioning greenhouses, very soon the installation of the first geothermal air conditioning system will begin in a Rural Health Post, which will be Illahuapi, in Lago Ranco, and we see that the next step perhaps should be to dare to go for district heating”, said Diego Morata, regarding future prospects.

In this regard, Miguel Ángel Martínez expressed that “Innovation projects have a fundamental component, which is the human being, where all the important variables for the advancement of the Region come together harmoniously, in the best of cases, through of the people who participate in the development of an initiative.

In this sense, the work of the University of Chile and CEGA have been very important to show a new way of developing projects, covering all important aspects, from the technical and economic, to the social and environmental.”

Along the same lines, Johan Muñoz pointed out that: “it is important that the public service be a pioneer in the adoption of new technologies, which in turn allow citizens to become aware of the opportunities that the region has to face the energy challenges with natural resources in the region. In this sense, he points out that it is important to advance in studies and projects that incorporate geothermal energy as an alternative for heating in public spaces in the region.

geothermal greenhouse

The initiative, executed between 2020 and 2022, aimed to build, adapt and monitor a technical greenhouse prototype for the continuous production of tomatoes with Geothermal Heat Pumps (BCG) in the Los Ríos Region. For this, two BCG were installed together with two inertia tanks and two plate heat exchangers, which make up the engine room that is connected by pipes to the extraction well and the greenhouse. Inside this, two circulation pumps and eight fan coils, with their respective thermostats, distribute the heat in the more than 600 m2 cultivated.

“The incorporation of technology in productive greenhouse agriculture is a fundamental advance for regional, national and global food security. In this sense, using the most efficient air conditioning technology in the world, geothermal energy, in the local production of tomatoes, is an opportunity to show all regional actors that a good way to join this global trend is through innovation pilot projects”, explained Pablo Valdenegro, coordinator of the project.

For his part, Mario Aburto, direct beneficiary of the initiative, highlighted the significant increase in production that this system could mean for his crops. “Not having the winter loss in my tomato production means gaining 90 days of production and more than 10,000 extra kilos of tomatoes. The benefit of being able to include geothermal energy to heat the environment inside the greenhouse is really a giant step forward for my production chain”.

As part of the closing activities of the FIC, a ribbon cutting was also held to inaugurate the machine room that feeds the geothermal system installed on the Mario Aburto property, in the Coz Coz area of ​​Panguipulli.

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Written by Editor TLN

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