Lighting and Climate Management for Greenhouse Horticulture

The LED it be 50%-project aims at reducing the energy use in tomato greenhouse horticulture with at least 50%, by the smart use of LED lighting. To optimize the efficiency, model-based control synthesis techniques are researched.

PhD Candidate: Wouter Kuijpers MSc
Supervisor: dr. ir. René van de Molengraft
Promoter: prof. dr. ir. Maarten Steinbuch
Project Financing: LED it be 50%
Project Period: October 2017 – October 2020

A 50% reduction in energy use for greenhouse horticulture, will lead to a more sustainable industry and a decrease in production costs. The increased conversion efficiency (30%) of LEDs with respect to conventional lighting is not enough to reach this target. To optimize the efficiency even further, amongst other activities, a management support system (MSS) will be designed.

 The MSS will provide the grower with an optimal strategy for the control of the LED lights and the climate management equipment. The strategy will aim to maximize the benefits of LED light on production. To be able to optimally control the production, the MSS uses the knowledge of the greenhouse and the tomato crop from models. These models describe e.g. how much a certain crop produces under a certain climate. 

Two of the challenges in this project are factors that we cannot control: the weather and the market price. The system will have to use forecasts for the weather and market price in the optimization. Another challenge for the system is to cope with the difference between the crops. After tackling these main challenges we have made a large step towards the 50% energy reduction for greenhouse horticulture.