Film premiere saves energy

XL Horticulture unveiled its latest energy-saving polytunnel cover, the SunMaster SuperThermic, at the Kildare show.

"Thermic films allow shortwave infra-red radiation from the sun to warm up the soil and the contents of the tunnel," explained manager Les Lane.

"When the air temperature drops they radiate the heat back again. Thermic films reflect this back to the plants and the ground."

When these films came in 15 years ago they were capable of reflecting around 65 per cent of this heat back into the tunnel.

"Our new film has boosted this to a 95 per cent saving. Indications are that this could mean energy savings of up to 30 per cent over non-thermic films," said Lane.

The film is recommended for crops that will be heated including overwintered nursery-stock, where frost protection is required.

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