Russian scientists grow wild strawberries in new smart greenhouse

Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University are working on smart greenhouse lighting that will be able to select the lighting regime and save energy. With the help of this technology, the first crops of lettuce and wild strawberries have already been harvested.

Earlier it was announced that in the summer of 2018 an experimental greenhouse would be built at Tomsk University, which will function with the assistance of modern technologies and robotics. It will be a testing zone for the creation of smart greenhouses for extremely cold conditions.

“The scientists conducted their first experiments in card boxes and now they are working with a prototype of a fully automated greenhouse – phytotron, where lettuce and wild strawberry grow on an acreage of 2 square meters. By the end of the year they are planning to start growing cucumbers and tomatoes under the smart lighting”, reads the press release.

Instead of regular HPS lamps, the scientists are experimenting with LED lamps of white, blue and red colour. The sensors of the intellectual system analyze current lighting and the system tunes in such a way so that the plants get optimum lighting in terms of spectrum and flow.

“In the evening there’s a lot of red spectrum light and we need blue as well, so the system switches on blue LED lights at the needed power. Also, for instance, in winter lamps in greenhouses are on, even on a sunny day. Our lighting will 'realize' it and turn off and if the sun gets behind the clouds, will turn back on again”, says the assistant of the Chair of laser and lighting equipment, Mr. Sergey Turanov.

The scientists have already created a small model greenhouse with smart lighting. No such project has been carried out in Russia before. The return on investments for such a greenhouse of 1 ha will be achieved in 6 years.

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