Flower grower Leen van Velden about the new Priva Compass
Priva has developed a new sustainable process computer for precise crop control. With Priva Compass, the crop is on the steering wheel for controlling irrigation, climate, light and CO2. Flower grower Van Velden shares his experiences.
A user-friendly computer that fits my business perfectly
Everything can be controlled remotely
It felt good, right from the start
In all honesty he says: "I realize a grower has to have a climate computer, but I mostly see it as a necessary evil.” Leen van Velden from ’s-Gravenzande (NL) grows a variety of seasonal flowers, ranging from dis-budded chrysanthemums to ranunculus. To precisely control the climate and water dosage in the four sections of his specialized horticultural company, he has been using the new Priva Compass since March of this year. “A user-friendly computer that fits my business perfectly.”
Flower grower Van Velden purchased his first Priva computer in 2000. “Because I have four sections, often with different crops, I had no choice but to buy a very advanced computer. But that version was too complicated for me. After all, I'm not the techie type, I don't grow on substrate and I don't have CHP. So it had lots of functions I never even used. And when it comes to computers, my kids already know far more than I do,” the flower grower says laughingly.
Currently he mainly grows dis-budded chrysanthemums, but that could change next year. “Trips and the loss of necessary resources certainly don't make growing chrysanthemums any easier. So we are going to think carefully about which cut flowers will be included in our cultivation program next year.” Among them there will certainly be ranunculus, which will be grown in the coming months under growing lights for the first time, so they can be harvested several months earlier than usual.
What Van Velden expects from a growing computer can be summarized in a short list. “Air open or closed, control of the boiler, water dosage and, since recently, a bit of lighting; I really don't need anything else.” When Dirk Prins from Priva showed him the new Priva Compass, the grower didn't need much time to think it over. “I'm an exact match for the profile Priva had in mind with this computer, both domestically and abroad, and the Priva Compass checks every box on my wish list.”
His expectations have been fully met during the first six months. “The computer is very user-friendly and, above all, gives everyone in the company lots of peace of mind. Moreover, everything can be controlled remotely. Setting the watering schedule from a vacation spot in Greece, that is truly amazing, not to mention convenient.”
He points to the accurate water dosage as an important upside. “Metering in liters instead of minutes is much more reliable. Another advantage is that all the functions respond much more quickly; you set it and it responds. It does exactly what you want and is easy to configure via the various intuitive screens.”
Looking back, Van Velden is rather surprised he agreed to switch to the Priva Compass so quickly. “I'm generally a late adopter when it comes to new things, especially when it comes to automation. The computer was so new that I didn't even have the chance to see how it was working out for other growers. But the sales pitch was convincing – it felt good, right from the start. The app will soon also be available too, making it even easier to use, and then I will be 100% satisfied.”
Optimal control of processes
The Priva Compass process computer was developed with the idea that a computer should be able to control irrigation, climate and light, and CO2. The computer consists of small, flexible hardware and software modules, and has a very user-friendly interface. This allows growers to monitor their process at any time of the day. Priva Compass, with its affordable state-of-the-art technology, is unique in the market. With its built-in Wi-Fi network, the computer can be operated from any device, whenever and wherever the grower wishes.
The computer can be used for various crops, such as vegetables, fruit, potted plants and ornamentals, and it is available in two basic versions: Priva Compass 2S and Priva Compass 4S. The grower chooses the version that is most suitable for their needs based on the required number of measurements and controls. With this compact computer, Priva focuses not only on small and medium-sized growing companies in the Netherlands – such as Van Velden's business – but also on entrepreneurs in new growing areas around the world.