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Food Autonomy co-developed a toplight to reduce lighting and heating costs

Food Autonomy and Lans co-developed the LEDFan Greenhouse Toplight that utilizes (almost) all the electrical energy. Not only does it profit from the high efficiency of the LEDs, but it also uses the energy losses (heat) by blowing cool air from above the luminaire via the drivers and LED modules back down towards the crop. This creates a warm air blanket, keeping the warm air from the heat pipes longer in the crop. Warming up cold air also increases the amount of water air can hold, improving evaporation and, therefore, photosynthesis.

The customer/co-development partner
Lans is one of the largest tomato growers in The Netherlands, with 80 hectares of high-tech greenhouses for tomato cultivation. The company has always been at the forefront of innovation and was, for example, the first grower to use a CHP installation in their greenhouse. Lans was also the co-developer of the new and revolutionary LEDFan concept.

"20 years ago, we tried CHP's to make the electricity. That was a total revolution. With the LEDFan, we think it's the same kind of revolution. And even though we are growing with 2 degrees higher temperature in the greenhouse lit by LEDFans, we use less heating compared to the HPS side of the greenhouse." - says Leo van der Lans, CEO of Lans and founding partner in the Harvest House group.

The expectations
The problem with growing tomatoes under full LED is the loss of heat and evaporation in the crop that the infrared in HPS generates. Lans wanted to use the heat waste from the luminaires, so they would not only have savings on electricity that normal LED luminaires offer but also savings on heating costs.

The result
According to Leo van der Lans, the product saves him 15% on heating. The 3ha tomato greenhouse is equipped with two different installations on either side of the central aisle. One side (1.5ha) has full SON-T, and the other side (1.5ha) has full LEDFan. Even though the LEDFan side had a 17% lower electrical input compared to the HPS side, it still had almost 40% more light.

Even though Lans were growing with a 2 degrees higher 24-hour temperature, the heating costs are lower on the LEDFan side. This can partly be explained by the residual heat used, but probably for an even greater part by the improved evaporation and the ability to keep screens and windows more closed.

"Plants are smiling under the LEDFan, and if plants are smiling, the grower is smiling," says Leo van der Lans, CEO of Lans and founding partner in the Harvest House group. The product has definitely proven its worth to Lans, as the giant greenhouse operator is making a 24 hectares investment in 2022.

Food Autonomy's LEDFan made its debut on the market in 2021, and the product will be getting new features in 2023. The new generation LEDFan will also be available in 1040 W and with multi-channel wireless control system.

For more information:
Food Autonomy
www.foodautonomy.org 
info@foodautonomy.org 


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