New and innovative LED technology from Helsinki-based firm Valoya, has been used in an EU Research project for Sustainable Production of Forest Regeneration Materials for Protection Against Climate Change.
The project (‘REGEN-FOREST’) involves a growth chamber to cultivate forest seedlings and contains LED lights with continuous spectrum (not just red and blue) and 10 rotating shelves that can hold 30 trays of up to 17280 seedlings per cycle.
Funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), the technology behind the project involves four components owned by three SMEs: Greek-based Alphatec, Italian firm Amcota, as well as Valoya. Also as partners in this project were Holmen Skog (Sweden), Egnatia (Greece) and Vivai Torsanlorenzo (Italy).
“This unit has 3 LED lamps with a continuous spectrum quite different from the “ordinary” red and blue spectra presently on the market,” says Valoya’s Research Manager, Titta Kotilainen. “They are more adequate for the plants’ growth.”
Project’s research partners Tuscia University (Italy), Dalarna University (Sweden) and National Agricultural Research Foundation (Greece) did growth experiments with several tree species. Valoya’s AP67 lamp was chosen based on testing different continuous Valoya spectra with varying combinations of blue, green, red and far red, in order to find the “optimal combination” she explains.
The rotating shelves provide consistent temperature and humidity. Intermittent light was proven to provide excellent growth results. These features can not be achieved with ‘static’ growth chambers and this, Titta says, is “what provides energy savings and creates uniform growth conditions to the plants.”
Sprinklers, temperature and humidity are managed by the control system developed by Alphatec, and in terms of space and energy savings it is five times more efficient than standard models, says Titta.
The unit manufactured by Amcota requires between 5.5 and 6 amps at 220 volts AC (a load of 1.2 – 1.3 kW) and due to it’s lighter weight and reduced energy consumption it can be relocated, and run on a portable generator.
The REGEN-FOREST project was successfully completed at the end of December 2013, and coordinated by Professor Rosanna Bellarosa of the DAFNE Department at Tuscia University, Italy. The unit will remain for a while at the Tuscia University and exploitation of the Regen-Forest results will follow.
Read more at: http://www.hortidaily.com/article/5885/Rotating-shelves-provide-consistent-temperature-and-humidity-in-new-LED-project