IMOLA (Italy), 2018, 12th February. We’ll soon be enjoying Italian tomatoes grown in winter, something that, until only very recently, would have been unthinkable in our latitudes. What’s made it possible is the advanced technology developed by C-LED, now being supplied (for the very first time) to Fri El Greenhouse, one of the most technologically advanced facilities in Italy located in Ostellato, in the province of Ferrara. About 9,000 lamps have been installed here with another 18,000 planned, giving a total of 25,000 Inter-Light lamps (patented by C-LED). As each lamp is 2.5 metres long, the completed system will house some 140 km of LED modules. Inside the greenhouse the climate – air temperature and quality, humidity and light – is regulated by a sophisticated automatic system that allows precision monitoring of these parameters. A high-efficiency irrigation system provides enormous water savings, yet ensures plants are luxuriant and healthy. The greenhouse and all its constituent systems are powered by a cogeneration plant.
“Beyond the heavy investment in research, our strength stems from taking a Solution Provider approach that combines personalisation of the right LED light recipe with an ability to build complete plants and get them up and running. From the initial design work to final completion of all the required systems and sensors, finely-tuned management takes us from cogeneration to lighting”, comments Alessandro Pasini, President of C-LED and Cefla’s Innovation Manager.
Significantly, the Ministry of Economic Development has expressed its acknowledgement of this all-new, highly innovative growing solution. This result is the outcome of the now-consolidated C-LED policy of developing cutting-edge LED indoor growing technology.
“Fresh Guru, a Fri-El Green House brand, is leading the way in hydroponic tomato growing in both Italy and Europe”, explains Alessio Orlandi, Sales and Marketing Manager of Fri-El. “We do, indeed, aim to be the industry ‘guru’, with products that are ever-better, fresher and more environmentally friendly. The partnership with C-LED allows us to be even more innovative by using lamps that are specifically designed to give our plants the right lighting recipe”.
“For some time now”, explains Alessandro Pasini, “our research has been performed in partnership with the University of Bologna, which has set up two labs to test the effects of different lighting frequencies on plants. This research has led to the development of the Inter-Light lamp which, because it is positioned among the plants, scatters the light on them evenly on two sides. These lighting solutions ensure that the tomatoes grow efficiently in terms of both size and quality”.