In greenhouse horticulture, light is the most important factor for plant growth. In practice, the light transmittance of the glass diminishes over time, due to dirt accumulation, among other things. TNO is developing an innovative coating that prevents contamination, is long-lasting and has no negative impact on transmittance. Consequently, plant growth - and thus the yield of the greenhouse - remain high without the need for frequent cleaning.
Horticultural glass (the greenhouse) must allow maximum light transmittance, as light is the most important factor in plant growth. In practice, two factors appear to reduce transmittance. The first is contamination of the glass, and the second is the reduced effectiveness of the anti-reflection coating that may be present on the glass. The goal of this project is to develop a demonstrator coating that keeps both factors at bay. In other words: reduction of the fouling rate of the glass and significant slowing of the degradation of the anti-reflective coating. At the same time, the coating to be developed must not have any negative impact on the light transmittance and must be long-lasting. The coating can be applied, and restored if necessary, to existing greenhouses, with a simple process which does not require any specialist knowledge. The coating will be tested at the end of the project in a real-world greenhouse horticulture situation (TNO field lab at Demokwekerij Westland).
The project consists of the following phases:
Important considerations for the study: