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Technical Paper

Water and Energy Transport for Crops under Different Lighting Conditions

2006-07-17
2006-01-2028
When high-intensity discharge (HID) electric lamps are used for plant growth, system inefficiencies occur due to an inability to effectively target light to all photosynthetic tissues of a growing crop stand, especially when it is closed with respect to light penetration. To maintain acceptable crop productivity, light levels typically are increased thus increasing heat loads on the plants. Evapotranspiration (ET) or transparent thermal barrier systems are subsequently required to maintain thermal balance, and power-intensive condensers are used to recover the evaporated water for reuse in closed systems. By accurately targeting light to plant tissues, electric lamps can be operated at lower power settings and produce less heat. With lower power and heat loads, less energy is used for plant growth, and possibly less water is evapotranspired. By combining these effects, a considerable energy savings is possible.
Technical Paper

Strawberry Cultivar Analysis: Temperature and Pollination Studies

2006-07-17
2006-01-2030
Strawberry is a life-support-system candidate crop species that is long-lived, asexually propagated, and can bear large quantities of fruit high in sugar and antioxidant content. Strawberries of four day-neutral cultivars (‘Tribute’, ‘Tristar’, ‘Seascape’, and ‘Fern’) and one ever-bearing cultivar (‘Cavendish’) were grown under greenhouse conditions or varying temperature regimes in three growth chambers. Flowers in growth chambers were hand pollinated three-times weekly with stored pollen, and ripe berries were harvested, counted, weighed, and tested organolepticly. In the greenhouse, two different pollination treatments were compared, while another group of plants was left unpollinated, receiving only occasional mechanical stimulation from normal greenhouse airflow, berry harvest, and plant maintenance. A second group was pollinated with a vibrating wand, and a third group was hand pollinated with stored pollen.
Technical Paper

Development of a Reconfigurable LED Plant-growth Lighting System for Equivalent System Mass Reduction in an ALS

2005-07-11
2005-01-2955
When overhead electric lights are used for plant growth, inefficiency occurs due to inability to accurately target light. Light falls between young plants, but as they grow, shading occurs, requiring more light to achieve acceptable productivity. We have developed an intracanopy light-emitting diode (LED)-based system that can deliver light throughout the foliar canopy of crop stands and keep pace with crop growth. LEDs having narrow red and blue emission wavebands were selected. An array of 16 “Lightsicles” was constructed, each consisting of 20, 2.5 cm2 LED “light engines” containing 80 LEDs mounted along a strip. Measurements of light level and power usage have been taken and plant-growth testing is underway.
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