Published in today’s HortiDaily, there is a very interesting story about greenhouses that are using pink glass to produce energy.
Simply by changing the color of the glass to pink. cultivators can produce energy as well as increase yields. The energy producing glass can power systems within the greenhouse such as supplemental lighting, air movement (fans) and technology systems. An added benefit is around water conservation: due to a slightly reduced greenhouse air temperature, the plants require less water.
But why pink? Michael Loik, of the Loik Laboratory in the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz explains why the choice of pink: “That is because of the dye that was selected to allow the red wavelengths of sunlight to be able to pass through. Colors that are not absorbed by the dye are reflected or transmitted. In this case, the dye absorbs green and some of the blue. The blue that is not absorbed, as well as the red wavelengths of sunlight, are transmitted or reflected (red + some blue = magenta).”
But what about increasing yields? Commercial trials have increased cucumber yields by 10% increase and lettuce / herb yields by nearly 50%.
Pink greenhouses can perform in nearly every environment but there are trade offs with low latitudes (increased cooling) and higher latitudes (less direct light).
These greenhouses can be used anywhere, so you may see a pink greenhouse in your area soon!