Off-Grid Solid-State Agricultural Lighting
This project addresses the potential to move power requirements for ornamental crop lighting systems off the grid and to alternative energy sources such as solar photovoltaic. Photoperiod lighting is currently used in an estimated 25% of greenhouse ornamental production operations and floriculture operations in the field to control flowering and improve product quality. Results from the project could help increase the penetration of solid-state lighting into a new niche market and ultimately provide a means to expand a valuable commercial market without increasing demands on the existing power grid. The overall project objective is to characterize the variables, operating parameters, and constraints associated with the implementation of off-grid solid-state agricultural lighting systems, identify technical and economic barriers, and develop and test component technologies and operating protocols to eliminate those barriers. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Photoperiod control lighting systems are used in high value ornamental crop production to control flowering timing and plant quality. Many growing operations still use inefficient incandescent bulbs for this application. The use of solid state lighting systems would significantly reduce power requirements. Combing the solid state lighting system with photovoltaic panels and batteries would enable the power used in these operations to be completely removed from the grid demand, and could in fact end as a net producer of power. Benefits to the commercial producer would include reduced energy costs, elimination of expendables (glass light bulbs), more precise control of plant timing and quality, and less light pollution. Other benefits include allowing expansion of these operations into areas not sufficiently serviced by available power generation facilities or transmission infrastructure. In a more general sense, it will be another step toward the integration of energy efficient solid-state lighting and solar power into the general economy.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Orbital Technologies Corporation
1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717
Number of Employees: