Maurice Kassenbouw is building a prototype for the ‘Greenhouse of the Future’ at the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo. The most remarkable aspect of this greenhouse is the glazing by Brite Solar Technologies. The roof is fully covered with nano solar glass, which will generate electricity.

In addition to the innovative glazing with Dye Sensitised Solar Cells (DSSC) the greenhouse also features the latest innovations with respect to Next Generation Cultivation (the Air & Energy system) and LED lighting. Thanks to this technology, the Greenhouse of the Future will not only be energy and carbon dioxide neutral; it may even be a source of energy.

Covered with nano solar glass

The necessary permit has been obtained and Maurice Kassenbouw expects to be able to start on the construction work this quarter. This prototype is built under the banner of Innoveins. The greenhouse will have a surface area of 1,200 square metres and will be fully covered with nano solar glass. This glazing has a transparent coating that enables 70 to 75% light to pass through in frequencies that are important to photosynthesis, according to Brite Solar. In addition to this, the glass has thin lines, resembling the rear window of a car, that generate and discharge electricity. The construction of the prototype will provide insight into the scale-up of this nano solar technology to industrial production.

Towards industrial scale-up

Michel la Crois, general manager of Maurice Kassenbouw is very pleased to be engaged in this project together with Brite Solar. “Through this prototype, we are creating optimum circumstances and facilities for growing crops. The solution contributes to the world hunger issue that we will all be facing in the future: how will we be able to feed nine billion people in 2050?”Brite Solar will be contributing the innovative technology of solar glass to this project. Additionally, the company will be assessing the test data to draw up parameters for the industrial scale-up of the technology. The technical development and the market are closely linked within the partnership.

MIT-Zuid incentive programme

The project is part of the MIT-Zuid incentive programme. Just over three years ago, the Dutch provinces, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Climate, the Dutch top sectors and SME the Netherlands signed the Collaboration Agenda. The agenda contains agreements about incentives with regard to innovation in the SME sector, of which the 2015 SME Innovation Incentive Top Sectors Zuid-Nederland Grant Scheme (MIT-Zuid) is a part. This ‘Greenhouse of the Future project’ receives financial support through this scheme. The objective of the project is to be able to scale up the tested technologies from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 to TRL 7/8.

Source: Maurice Kassenbouw, Brite Solar, Stimulus. Photo: