Heliospectra is developing, building and commercializing a unique lamp system for growing greenhouse crops. The technology is based on High-Brightness Light Emitting Diodes (HB-LEDs). It is also based on remote sensing techniques to provide “live” information about plant characteristics. We now have evidence that HB-LEDs are more efficient in growing plants than High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps that are currently used in the greenhouse industry world wide. Our growth experiments show that HB-LEDs of selected wavelengths can improve crop biomass by 40% when compared to HPS lighting.
Thus HB-LEDs in greenhouse lighting has the potential of bringing important energy savings. Our results indicate that crop quality, such as content of desired aromatic compounds can be doubled with proper management of HB-LED lamp obtainable from our prototype lamps. A PCT (International) patent application has been filed. The HB-LED arrays of the System are individually programmable. Growers will be able use different wavelength ranges to activate specific plant light photoreceptors to control crop yield and quality. With the use of in-built remote sensing, the System will provide “live” information regarding crop stress levels and Relative Growth Rates.
We have, since February 08, hired a plant scientist, Dr Tessa Pocock, to take care of the research aspects related to plant responses obtainable from the crops under the lamps. We will hire a part time employee for helping us managing the experiments in collaboration with the ongoing technological developments. We have set up a research and development agreement with a scientist at Chalmers University for the development of the Control system to be installed in the lamps for managing light quality and intensity.
We also have been visiting China for identifying potential suppliers that could eventually provide large volume production of our lamp systems. However, for the next 200 to 1000 units, most of the construction work will be realized in Sweden.
Heliospectra is now under another stage of financing and we are seeking 9 Millions SEK to bring us up to the commercialization stage.
I would like to thank Curamus Stiftelsen for the stipend of 165 000 SEK. These funds were invested in Heliospectra and have been very much appreciated and very useful. A very useful tool for evaluating and comparing LED quality has been developed.
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