Cost-efficient light control for production of two campanula species

Katrine Heinsvig Kjær, Carl-Otto Ottosen, Bo Nørregaard Jørgensen

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A cost-efficient light control system based on weather forecasts, electricity prices and daily photosynthesis integral (DPI) was evaluated for application in the commercial production of the long-day (LD) plant Campanula portenschlagiana ‘Blue Get Mee’ and C. cochlearifolia ‘Blue Wonder’. Experiments were conducted under both autumn and spring conditions and included four treatments. Three treatments were controlled by the software system DynaLight Desktop which automatically defined the most costefficient use of supplemental light, -based on a predefined set point of DPI, forecasted solar irradiance and the market price on electricity. The set points of DPI in the three treatments were 300, 450 and 600 mmol CO2 m−2 leaf d−1 and the treatments were compared with a traditional LD 19-h treatment. The DPI-based light control strategy resulted in very irregular light patterns including daily periods of solar irradiance combined with supplemental light in low light periods and a night period interrupted by irregular light breaks (NB-lighting). Both campanula species flowered in the DPI-based treatments during spring, but the flowering percentage was low and non-uniform during autumn. This was caused by a combination of the irregular light, low natural light intensities and a decrease in daily light integral (DLI), and could
be restored by maintaining a continuous 19 h photoperiod with incandescent lamps (<5 mol m−2 s−1), illustrating that photoperiod was an important factor for flowering in LD species grown under low light intensities. Growth in terms of carbon gain was marginally affected by the irregular light and a 25% reduction
in electricity costs was achieved without major reductions in plant quality in spring. Our results illustrate that plant production of LD species can be maintained in a cost-efficient light control system where the use of supplemental light is based on weather forecasts and electricity prices.
TidsskriftScientia Horticulturae
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)825 - 831
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 2011