New Light Management System Aims for Consistent Plant Production
Heliospectra kicked off 2018 with the release of HelioCORE, a new light control software system that is designed to enable growing operations to standardize consistent, high-quality crop production year-round.
Three modules of the HelioCORE system are available in the initial launch:
• A Daily Light Integral (DLI) controller
• An On Target Module
• A Schedule module
An Automated Path to Energy Savings
HelioCORE’s centralized light management capabilities include:
• Automated light response gives growers the ability to replicate pre-set light strategies across the plant growth cycle and ensures consistent light quality year-round.
• Energy and power consumption monitoring increases visibility so growers can adapt and optimize light use and schedules based on peak hours, rising energy costs, and potential dollar savings.
• Multiple light zones and groupings standardize schedules and settings to allow growers to use their time and staff hours more efficiently.
• Real-time management and remote notifications from any device enable growers to monitor hardware status across their facilities and quickly control light settings, intensities, and spectrum strategies.
• Repository of data logs, historical lighting strategies, and instance isolations equip growers to make data-driven decisions for predictable, reliable, and repeatable business forecasting and harvest results.
Peter Nyberg, Chief Technology Officer at Heliospectra, says the HelioCORE system gives growers the ability to schematically manage their light schedules, including spectrum and intensity, based on power consumption, electricity prices, and local weather conditions.
David Llewellyn at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, says side-by-side trials of cut gerbera in a HelioCORE-controlled LED system versus high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights showed that excessive temperatures from the HPS system inhibited plant size. Once daylight increased, there was a 15% energy savings in the HelioCORE-controlled LED treatment.
“If the user knows how much light he wants, he should be able to get that exact amount from the system,” Llewellyn says.
Greenbelt Microgreens in Ontario is also trialing the system, and while it is too early to collect enough data, Owner Ian Adamson says the system does look promising.
“Once we have increased light levels in the spring, we will be able to conduct full trials with a variety of spectra,” Adamson says.
For more information on the HelioCORE system, go to Heliospectra.com.