In 2009, the industrial-size greenhouses in Denmark consumed 0.8 percent of the national electricity consumption. The increasing energy costs for heating and supplementary lighting have bankrupt many growers in 2010 causing an urgent need for remaining growers to reduce the consumption while preserving production quality. This paper presents a novel approach addressing this issue. We use weather forecasts and electricity prices to compute cost- and energy-efficient supplementary light plans that achieve the required plant growth defined by the grower. Experiments performed during the winter of 2009 – 2010 showed 25 percent savings with no negative effect on plant quality. To accelerate the impact of our approach, we chose to use Software Product Line Engineering, as it enables a greater variety of related software tools to be created faster. We have created a web-based analysis tool, DynaLight Web, for computing potential savings of our approach, and a desktop version, DynaLight Desktop, that computes an optimal supplementary light plan and controls the supplementary lighting accordantly. DynaLight Desktop is currently being field-tested at five industrial-size greenhouses. The development of these two tools is described together with the lessons learned from using Software Product Line Engineering in the domain of greenhouse software development.
Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Innovative Development in Ict, 2011, p. 37-46
Main Research Area:
Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication