Joshua Smith from Reno, Nevada, is the founder of Modular Greenhouses and he brings to the forefront of science a new modular design and smart interface to greenhouses. His company’s product, in conjunction with pink glass could potentially generate enough a large reduction in energy costs associated with greenhouses. Scientists from the University of California at Santa Cruz published their work in the American Geophysical Union’s journal Earth’s Future. The pink panels are Wavelength Selective Photovoltaic Systems, which are made with a magenta luminescent dye. Plants are naturally sensitive to sunlight. Pink glass merely enhances this effect.
Recently, scientists discovered that using pink panels do not hinder growth; instead they make plants grow under better growing conditions. The panels have been tested on 20 different plant species, including tomatoes, cucumbers, lemons, limes, peppers, strawberries, and basil. Some thought the plants would grow more slowly with darker colored panels. The color is likened to being on Mars because plants are also sensitive to color. Joshua Smith is at the forefront of this progress which marks an incredible discovery, which is useful to the greenhouse industry, which has grown six times its size in the last 20 years. More than 9 million acres are used to grow food in greenhouses.
Greenhouses use a lot of energy to grow plants. Joshua Smith is trying to make this technology more accessible. Cornel University stats that the four acres they use to grow food uses at least 18 million kWh for heating and lighting every year. There is still work to be done on greenhouse sustainability. It is the goal of Josh Smith to gain significant market share by 2020. Greenhouses require temperature regulation, lighting, fans and water monitoring systems, which consume high quantities of electricity. Greenhouses often use solar panels to power the electricity in the greenhouse itself. With glass being painted pink, it saves power because it traps heat inside the greenhouse. Plants don’t use all visible light for photosynthesis. A barrier to establishing a greenhouse is often the cost of installing one with materials, along with the cost to use air conditioner inside the greenhouse.
Learn more about Josh Smith here: https://about.me/joshua-smith-reno