Warmgras was set up in 2014 by Hendrik Jan Peters, the fourth generation of his family involved in carpet production in Deventer continuing the company founded by Hendrikus Johannes Peters in 1855. The mother company, HJ Peters Deventer, supplies commercial carpets; they have exported to more than 70 countries around the world. In 1975 it further diversified, developing and producing artificial grass for sports fields. It was from these activities that Warmgras was born in 2014.
Hendrik Jan: “As an engineer I was surprised just how inefficient the system for warming sports fields was. First, about 20 kilometres of pipes had to be buried underground, then warm water had to be heated in boilers and this had to be pumped through the pipes. Surely there had to be a more effective and sustainable system?” Via his extensive network he came into contact with a textile manufacturer in Austria which produces textile matting interwoven with metal thread which can be heated using electricity. Warmgras has developed a system to heat sports fields, supplied as a semi-finished product by the Austrian firm. This initiative spurred further innovation from Hendrik Jan which has led to sustainable heating for floors and walls, seats in tribunes, and greenhouses; warming strawberry plants, for example, results in higher yields and a higher sugar content. A special textile has also been created to warm clothing, which could be a game changer for people who work for long periods in cold conditions or freezers.
The artificial grass produced by HJ Peters distinguishes itself in several ways: the ease of laying it, use of durable materials (50% bio resources), efficient drainage and collection of surface rainwater. This complements the creative and sustainable system developed to heat sports fields which is cheap to install and run. Organisations that also install solar panels will have a system that is quick to heat up and CO2 neutral.
In recent years Warmgras has focussed on research and development but with the first successful tests behind it, attention is turning to production and marketing. The market for systems to warm sports fields lends itself to western countries with a cold climate such as the Scandinavian lands, Poland and Russia. Ideally these systems are installed when new sports facilities are constructed. The other applications can be built in, or added, at any stage.
Warmgras | Hendrik Jan Peters