Smart materials: crop experiment with electrochromic glass : first experiment with the potted plant Anthurium

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


Some high-value ornamental crops, such as Anthurium sp. and Phalenopsis sp., are shade loving crops which are grown under relatively low sunlight levels. In summer, these are achieved by different shading techniques such as shading screens, temporary coatings and combinations of both. However, these options are not optimal because screens do not allow to regulate light smoothly (slow reaction to changing light conditions) and coatings take also light in days with low radiation. Glass in which the transmission can be modulated (i.e. electrochromic glasses) could overcome these problems bringing a more stable climate in the greenhouse and possibly a higher light sum. This could all lead to improved and faster growth of these crops. A small-scale experiment was conducted with the shade plant pot-anthurium as crop example for a fi rst evaluation of the possibilities of EC Glass to be used as greenhouse cover. The questions we wanted to answer were if it controls light intensity as programmed, and if it improves crop growth and time to market. Five shading treatments were compared: 1. Float glass (no shade); 2. EC Glass managed at a fi xed level; 3. EC glass managed as a screen; 4. Coating; 5. Diffuse glass (no shade). The light levels were well controlled under both EC glass panes, but damage was induced to plants on very hot days due to overheating of the glass panes in dark state and consequent overheating of ambient air. There was a trend to shorter plants and smaller leaves & fl owers compared to the reference in a greenhouse. More research is required to evaluate the potential of smart glasses to become greenhouse covers for these high value crops.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBleiswijk
PublisherWageningen Plant Research
Number of pages42
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameReport / Stichting Wageningen Research, Wageningen Plant Research, Business Unit Greenhouse Horticulture


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