Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

Photoluminescent plastic shifts sunlight to increase crop yields

PhotoFuel knows about harnessing solar power for a variety of uses. Their company manufactures a variety of optically active materials for use in the solar industry, algae cultivation and greenhouse growing. With that experience, they can work with growers to install greenhouse films that manipulate light in order to get increased crop yields.

“The technology we use actually involves no filtering,” explained PhotoFuel's chief scientific officer Timmy Floume. “What we do is shift wavelengths to modify the sunlight spectrum reaching the plants.” They work with photoluminescent plastic to shift light wavelengths to provide the optimal conditions for a variety of settings. For greenhouses, where plants thrive under red light and reflect away unused green light, the goal is to change green light into the red light that plants crave. That extra energy benefits plants, and the increased yields benefit growers.


“We ran trials on different types of salad crops, and we found an increase in weight between 10 percent and 30 percent for crops grown under our  P-Film® greenhouse cover” noted Floume. Similar results were found for greenbeans, which recorded an astonishing 70 percent increase in weight (preliminary measurement), and zucchinis, which experienced a 10 percent weight gain. A benefit of the technology is that it's simple, because once the panels films are installed there is little else to be done other than standard maintenance. The concept is so effective that PhotoFuel uses it in other fields as well.


The idea behind the concept comes from the PV industry. “We use photoluminescence in photovoltaic solar panels to convert ultraviolet light into usable blue light,” noted Floume. “It's the same concept, but we just shift ultraviolet light into visible light to capture energy with the panels.” Because the manufacturing process is simple, they can adjust the product to work in a variety of locations, and it's proven to be very effective so far.

“Plants don't need much green light, so we convert it into usable light for increased yields,” Floume summed up. “It's a big advantage for the plants with great returns for the growers.”

For more information:
PhotoFuel SAS
Tel: +331 84 16 60 02


Publication date: 4/8/2013
Author: Boy de Nijs





Other news in this sector:

4/17/2014 US (WI): Fitchburg Farms to open new 20,000-square-foot greenhouse on April 18
4/17/2014 US (MI): Wolverine launches greenhouse program
4/17/2014 Jamaica: US Embassy to fund 3,000 square foot greenhouse
4/17/2014 US (OH): Fire ignites at Rebecca's Garden Nursery
4/16/2014 Spain: Project to bring water to 209 hectares of greenhouses
4/16/2014 Jarvinia eyeing greenhouse partners for agri firm Hishtil in India
4/16/2014 US (CA): Portola's University Mound Nursery may remain a greenhouse
4/16/2014 Netherlands: Enza Zaden’s demonstration greenhouse open from week 17 onwards
4/16/2014 UK: Greenhouse greenlight for Fettercairn School Garden Club
4/16/2014 More and more greenhouse growers eager to hire consultants
4/15/2014 US (NY): Greenhouse brings ease to Medina farm market’s growth
4/15/2014 US (NY): Students rejuvenate High School greenhouse
4/15/2014 US (TN): Knoxville fire threatens subdivision and greenhouse
4/15/2014 Australia: Greenhouse gives window to agriculture studies future
4/15/2014 US (KS): Nurseries scrambling to move plants before freezing temperatures
4/14/2014 Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture assists local city farm in designing a greenhouse
4/14/2014 US (ME): Freeport High School needs your votes to win greenhouse grant
4/14/2014 US (NE): University doesn't want trees next to greenhouses
4/11/2014 US (MA): Celebrate Palm and Easter Sunday in the greenhouse
4/11/2014 Greenhouse Production students present research projects