Our work

TNO can calculate incoming light in greenhouses

The more light there is in a greenhouse, the better the crop grows. In other words, the less light a greenhouse structure blocks, the less artificial lighting is needed and the more environmentally friendly the greenhouse. TNO develops models for calculating how much light a structure blocks. This enables greenhouse builders to design structures that will significantly reduce energy costs for growers.

Light transmission - the amount of light a greenhouse structure lets in – is an important criterion in greenhouse design. High light transmission means that the grower can achieve greater yields with the same amount of energy. Designers and builders, as well as growers, prefer to have precise calculations as early as possible, in the design phase. Greenhouses with sufficient light transmission can apply for a Green Label Greenhouse (GLK) certificate, and if successful they will also be eligible for an attractive grant. The certification is in line with the objectives of the Dutch greenhouse-horticulture sector as a whole, which is aiming to become more sustainable.

Simple calculations...

TNO has developed the IDT method, software that calculates light transmission in a straightforward way. Builders enter details of the structural profiles in the database, and the programme calculates the light-blocking factor. This information can be used when applying for GLK certification.

In addition to the IDT method, TNO has also developed more complex models that, in combination with existing ray tracing software, can process new situations. Ray tracing involves following the path of a large number of individual light rays, such as refracted or reflected rays. This makes it possible to calculate, for example, how a non-standard screening installation affects the light level. Another example is a tool that calculates light transmission and, at the same time, the electricity yield of PV panels on a greenhouse roof. Designers and builders who are developing a product, and want to know how the design affects light transmission, can make use of TNO's models. To contact TNO, simply call or send an e-mail.


Cementless, 100% locally made blocks for energy efficient housing

16 September 2020
The biggest obstacle in scaling Compressed Earth Blocks for housing is the price and environmental effect of cement which needs to be used as a binder. 5-7% of the block is cement, responsible for 50%... Read more

Boosting affordable housing with cementless blocks

16 January 2020
The market demand for construction materials is tremendous in developing countries due to a growing population. To tackle the disadvantages of hollow concrete blocks and burnt bricks Oskam , LEVS and... Read more

License agreement on innovative cool bricks in Malawi

05 July 2019
TNO and Terrastone ltd – a major construction firm in Malawi – signed a license agreement to kick off the production of cold ceramic bricks. TNO developed these strong, red ‘cool bricks’, which can be... Read more



Stay up to date with our latest news, activities and vacancies

TNO.nl collects and processes data in accordance with the applicable privacy regulations for an optimal user experience and marketing practices.
This data can easily be removed from your temporary profile page at any time.
You can also view our privacy statement or cookie statement.