In 2019 the founders were confronted with serious drawbacks of current greenhouse systems. Drawbacks that led to poor climate control, high resource consumption and too high cost of vegetable, lettuce and fruit production. Examples from top classic greenhouses from China to Canada, USA, Mexico and The Netherlands supported this analysis.
Convinced of the pivotal role of vegetables in global food security, the Gentle Green founders investigated the current systems to see how they could be improved to adequate performance. Their conclusion was that the physics behind the current climate systems simply made it impossible to make the required improvements. The team decided that, in view of the high importance of efficient and sustainable vegetable supply, a breakthrough had to be made.
A brand new technological architecture was the only way forward. A multidisciplinary team, with experts in plant growth, thermodynamics, climate systems in buildings and factories, and greenhouse design was gathered. They designed the Gentle Green system in a period of 2.5 years.
A small inner circle of international top-growers was continuously involved to challenge the team and sharpen the system specifications and performance. The system was developed “inside-out”, i.e. from the optimum plants’ micro-climate via requirements of the new climate system to implications for the construction of the greenhouse.
In 2021 the team built their pilot site. A the system retrofitted in an existing, really old greenhouse in The Netherlands: the ultimate challenge for the system to proof its performance.
The system has been tested for over 6 months, under a broad range of conditions, whilst a host of parameters around climate, air flows, energy consumption of each of the modules was measured real-time. The system performed spot-on, in a very stable way.
In 2022 the first customers production projects started. The systems are customised and built in very close cooperation with the growers’ team. In 2023, new projects with innovation leaders have been launched. In parallel, the engineering capacity is being expanded in order to be able to deal with the full market launch of the system.