Designing solar steering light for sustainable horticulture

Startdatum1 mei 2023
Einddatum30 april 2024
RegelingKIEM GoChem 2019-2024
  • Energie en Klimaat - Een klimaatneutrale industrie met hergebruik van grondstoffen en producten in 2050
  • Energie en Klimaat - In 2050 is het systeem van landbouw en natuur netto klimaatneutraal
  • Landbouw, Water en Voedsel - Klimaatneutrale landbouw en Voedselproductie
  • Sleuteltechnologieën - Fotonica en lichttechnologieën
  • Sleuteltechnologieën - Nanotechnologieën
  • Sleuteltechnologieën - Chemische technologieën
  • Duurzame landbouw-, water- en voedselvoorziening
  • Energietransitie en duurzaamheid
  • Sleuteltechnologieën en duurzame materialen

Horticulture crops and plants use only a limited part of the solar spectrum for their growth, the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR); even within PAR, different spectral regions have different functionality for plant growth, and so different light spectra are used to influence different properties of the plant, such as leaves, fruiting, longer stems and other plant properties. Artificial lighting, typically with LEDs, has been used to provide these specified spectra per plant, defined by their light recipe. This light is called steering light. While the natural sunlight provides a much more sustainable and abundant form of energy, however, the solar spectrum is not tuned towards specific plant needs. In this project, we capitalize on recent breakthroughs in nanoscience to optimally shape the solar spectrum, and produce a spectrally selective steering light, i.e. convert the energy of the entire solar spectrum into a spectrum most useful for agriculture and plant growth to utilize the sustainable solar energy to its fullest, and save on artificial lighting and electricity. We will take advantage of the developed light recipes and create a sustainable alternative to LED steering light, using nanomaterials to optimally shape the natural sunlight spectrum, while maintaining the increased yields. As a proof of concept, we are targeting the compactness of ornamental plants and seek to steer the plants’ growth to reduce leaf extension and thus be more valuable. To realize this project the Peter Schall group at the UvA leads this effort together with the university spinout, SolarFoil, whose expertise lies in the development of spectral conversion layers for horticulture. Renolit - a plastic manufacturer and Chemtrix, expert in flow synthesis, provide expertise and technical support to scale the foil, while Ludvig-Svensson, a pioneer in greenhouse climate screens, provides the desired light specifications and tests the foil in a controlled setting.


Universiteit van Amsterdam

Peter Schall, contactpersoon
Telefoon: 031 20 525 6314


bij aanvang project
  • SolarFoil B.V.