CambridgeHOK are pleased to announce the successful installation of the first commercial scale, 100% LED installation for tomatoes in the UK. Following on from other successful pilot LED projects carried out by CambridgeHOK, the recent positive results from this LED testing convinced Phil Pearson of APS Salads that a full LED installation was the future. Once the decision to go ahead with the project was made, it took only 8 weeks from order to the lights being switched on, including manufacture and installation.
A 1 hectare block of glass on the main site at Wight Salads, Arreton Valley has had screens and adjustable height grow pipes installed to compliment the LED installation. Using a combination of Philips GreenPower Toplights and double row Interlighting the facility has a total of 220umols/s/m2 with lights being turned on for the first time on 21st October. The Toplights are the latest generation from Philips providing 2.7umols/watt therefore out-performing other manufacturers in terms of efficiency. The Interlighting installation provided has been done in such a way that it can be lifted and lowered to satisfy the needs of the crop and differing varieties in the future.
The installation started whilst the old crop was still in production and finalised soon after plants for the new crop had arrived on the 12th October. A new High Voltage supply and transformer were also required to be installed to the glasshouse with associated concrete and cabling works back to the main Energy Centre. Power went live on the 16th October.
A growing strategy has now been developed to take the learnings from other trials and projects in the UK and around Europe, to deliver significant overall production commencing week 51- with the crop likely to be inter-planted in August 2016. Tim Haworth, General Manager for CambridgeHOK, along with the support of Philips Plant Specialist, Piet Hein van Baar, are working closely with the growing team to jointly develop the knowledge and push the production potential.
The project is of very significant importance to the tomato industry as it will determine the future lighting solution for all year round tomato production.