R+D+I: Energy Manager
The new energy manager consists of a drive system that is easy and quick to assemble and does not require specialized personnel for its erection, reducing not only the cost of materials but also the manpower required for its installation.
The ecopantalla is an energy manager that regulates the quantity of light that falls on the crops housed inside. In this way it affects the climate control in two aspects:
- Reduction of the luminous intensity. It controls the quantity of incident light.
- Temperature control,, also reducing the IR radiation, not visible but heating the bodies.
The means presently employed for obtaining shade in greenhouses are varied. The techniques employed at the moment range from practices that whitewash the roofing and sides of the greenhouse, still a common practice in southeast Spain, to the spreading of aluminium meshes or raffia sheets over the crops.
The use of screens has been an idea imported from countries like Holland, where the need for shading is very different to that of the areas with greater production. The use of these screens is mainly for saving energy in heating, by keeping the air mass hot, in the low part of the greenhouse where the plant is located, preventing it from rising to the high parts where this heat is no longer usable by the plant.
This signifies that by using these same screens for shade, we find that an increase in the temperature takes place at the plant level. Moreover, this type of screen can be very costly, and on occasions prohibitive for the farmer.
The development of the new energy manager for greenhouses, seeks to provide the farmer with a very cost-effective shading system entirely designed for the function of providing shade in hot areas.
The power supply system for operating it is implemented with solar power, thereby enhancing the use of alternative energies in the agricultural sector and preserving the environment.
The mesh has been designed especially for the function of shading, with the presence of reinforcements to increase the tensile strength in the extraction and retraction operations, and additives with photoselective properties.
Mallas de sombreo coloreadas
It is intended to advance with research into the employment . With this new technology different degrees of stimulation can be induced that provide different physiologic responses expected at the ranges of solar radiation that are filtered out or allowed to pass through the mesh.
The solar radiation is regulated by the physical protection effect, the barrier that the photoselective mesh provides. The physiologic objectives sought are achieved in terms to the additive in the mesh. It being found that:
- The blue coloured photoselective mesh produces a dwarfing effect that can be of interest in interior plants which, by having an excessive and undesired development, pose a problem for export because of their size.
- The red photoselective mesh stimulates elongation and allows a greater vegetative and generative development of the plant to be obtained, to achieve a higher productive potential and a uniform evolutionary cycle of the production.
- The photoselective mesh of grey colour stimulates the production of inflorescences.
In comparison with this type, the traditional shading meshes are opaque to sunlight and act as a physical impediment to radiation, whatever its wavelength, independently of the colour in which they are offered. Thus, the shade produced by them when they are only used as an element of climate control for reducing the temperature inside the greenhouse, produces the undesired drawback of reducing the photosynthetic rate of the plants. Therefore a unique product has been developed that can achieve a quick payback in present-day agriculture.