Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Last commentsmore »

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:

2/27/2015 Argentina: 90% greenhouse cultivation located around Buenos Aires
2/27/2015 Rabobank net profit decreases, greenhouses a concern
2/27/2015 India: Polyhouse farming turns a burden for farmers low on tech
2/27/2015 Rooftop greenhouses and urban farming are transforming New York’s local food game
2/26/2015 Using dry cold air from above the screen
2/26/2015 A plain and simple checklist for injector problems, testing and common maintenance
2/26/2015 Busting six myths about LED grow lights - Part 2: Cost & ROI
2/26/2015 US (NY): Barn fire damages property at greenhouse
2/26/2015 Spanish grower building underground greenhouse
2/25/2015 US (ND): Jamestown area greenhouse project at standstill
2/25/2015 US (OH): School greenhouse expands to create more inviting garden center
2/25/2015 Georgia: Workshop on greenhouse investing
2/25/2015 Nicaragua: Controlled-environment agriculture promoted
2/25/2015 UK: STC's led facility featured in the Daily Mail
2/24/2015 Armenia’s president visits state-of-the-art greenhouses in Kotayk
2/24/2015 UK: British 'chocolate greenhouse' saving the world's cocoa
2/24/2015 Hoogendoorn Tip: Minimum vent position humidity
2/24/2015 Six greenhouse production inefficiencies eating away your profits
2/24/2015 New, insulating greenhouse roof consists of glass, foil and cavity
2/24/2015 Prevent ethylene and carbon monoxide from occurring in your greenhouse


Leave a comment: (max. 500 characters)

  1. All comments which are not related to the article contents will be removed.
  2. All comments with non-related commercial content, will be removed.
  3. All comments with offensive language, will be removed.

  Display email address

  new code