The current world population is now clocked at 7 billion. This huge number can be looked at as fearsome when you think about sustainability of resources, especially in terms of the production of crops and plant food sources. You have to consider limitations in the agriculture industry, such as high costs of energy that could affect food production and subsequently bring about a worldwide food scarcity. The good thing is there are still future-minded people who focus their attention and use their knowledge to think of advancements that will help this industry cope with the ever growing demands.
An effective way of growing plants is by cultivating them in a greenhouse. Here, all factors can be controlled for the optimum growth of crops at shorter periods. If you can control the temperature and humidity, regulate how much water the plants get and avoid pests from destroying your crops, you will have a better harvest and at the same time lengthen your harvest season. This is why agriculturists and scientists have combined forces to come up with advancements to further improve greenhouse technology.
Liquid Foam Technology
One problem in greenhouse planting is the extreme heat that gets trapped inside during the summer season. This stresses the plants which affects the quality of the fruits and decreases productivity. Cooling pads and shade cloths have been used to address this issue. These methods can reduce the amount of solar heat that enters the greenhouse and decreases the temperature inside. Currently, a new technology has been developed for this. It uses liquid foam that is distributed between layers of polyethylene films. When compared to a shading curtain, up to 6oC difference in temperature was noted. Further, they have also observed an increase in humidity and the length of time the temperature remains cool.
LED for Lighting Greenhouses
Plants need to have the correct temperature and the right light in order to grow. Most greenhouses have been using high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps for this purpose. However, with the evolution of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), the possibility of using this to replace HPS has been studied and these studies came to great conclusions.
First of all, you have to go back to the basics of plant growth. It undergoes photosynthesis, where it takes carbon dioxide from the environment and gives off oxygen. A pigment responsible for efficient photosynthesis is called chlorophyll and plants need the right light to absorb this pigment. According to studies, the optimal absorption of chlorophyll happens when plants are exposed to lights of a specific wavelength (455nm to 660nm), which the spectrum of HPS lamps does not meet. In effect, only 7% of the light emitted by HPS lamps is absorbed by plants. It is also worth noting that HPS lamps use up huge electrical energy when operated. LED lamps on the other hand can be designed to meet the light spectrum requirement of plants thus allowing for better growth. Further, LED is a very energy-saving type of light, which is why most households are also converting to it. Today, LED designs are continually improved to deliver wavelengths that meet chlorophyll absorption spectra for the healthy growth of plants at a much lower cost.