Cultivating Algae in Greenhouses - Lighting in Extreme Heat and Humidity
Algaecore, the brainchild of Baruch Dech, a marine biologist, who founded it on his own in 2015, engages in the production of spirulina, a super food with high nutritional value.
The company's products, under the Simpliigood brand name, are available in the USA, in several countries in Europe and in Asia. In Israel they are distributed through supermarkets, health food stores, and in places that serve natural shakes or smoothies.
There are other spirulina manufacturers, but Algaecore is unique in that it supplies the product in both fresh and frozen, rather than in powder form.
The two research and breeding farms in Israel are located one in the south of the country and the other in Tel Mond.
In addition, the company works with a number of natural health food manufacturers that use spirulina as an ingredient to make hamburgers, popsicles, crackers and other products, all of which are the result of Israeli R&D.
Currently, Algaecore is working on several new products intended as fish substitutes.
The company approached HORTIV/Megalight after evaluating the solutions of several other suppliers who either could not meet Algaecore’s technical requirements or were too expensive to make financial sense for its operation.
The objective was to enrich their algae with additional light, at the appropriate longer wavelengths and intensities. Their greenhouses receive sunlight, which they wished to reinforce with artificial lighting to enhance yield quantity, quality and efficiency.
Quality is a significant issue because of the extreme conditions prevailing in the greenhouse: above 50℃ and very high humidity, which the lighting equipment must be sturdy enough to withstand.
The Hortiv Solution
HORTIV put together the exact solution for the needs Algaecore presented to them, with the required spectrum and intensity parameters, ensuring the system could operate within the particular greenhouse constraints.
It was not about simply putting together a quote, but truly striving to understand where improvements were possible.
As a first step, HORTIV supplied one set of lighting devices. If everything goes as planned, Algaecore will place a large order.
The trial has not yet ended but based on the positive trend observed, they are going in the right direction. An improvement in quantity, quality and efficiency is already evident which is what the customer was looking for.
Our Customer Says
“We described to Yair from HORTIV exactly what our requirements were but we lacked some of the technical information. We brought with us the biological specs because of our background, and we knew 90% about what we needed in lighting. And that is where Yair came into the picture. He has deep knowledge of the world of agriculture and is an expert in lighting. He guided us through, getting us to do it right. He was able to clearly explain to me the optimal way in which to get what I need.
We already had one bad experience in the past with another company whose equipment was not resistant to the extreme working conditions.
The confidence Yair gave me, the quality, structure, and strength of
materials were more suitable for the IP quality standards in demanding environments. If the lighting equipment can’t withstand 60℃, it’s not possible to protect the drivers. Currently, I see their quality is superior to that of a competing company.” said Yogev Azoulai, Marine Biologist and Technical Manager, Simpliigood