LED GRASS CARE TECHNOLOGY
The RSI Rhenac Sports LED CLS technology helps stadium owners maintain a green turf. The color rendering produced by these LED lighting rigs stimulate germination, the development of premature grass blades and pitch regeneration. Proper grass growth conditions are usually hindered by non-conducive venue design.
Complete Light Spectrum Technology
Redefining perfect in perfect pitch management
Rhenac Sports LED technology is the only lighting technology that is capable of delivering the Complete Light Spectrum (CLS). This spectrum ranges from ultraviolet to infrared light. Different wavelengths have different functions. This can only be utilized when using LED technology.
A red color is required for grass seeds to germinate and to increase biomass. Blue light will increase the sward density and enhance root growth. It also reduces the length growth of the plant. As a side effect, an increased dose of blue light will also reduce the grass’ susceptibility to diseases.
Producing blue light without consuming much electricity only became possible with the latest generation of LEDs.
Replicating various colors and lighting settings requires a thorough understanding of LED technology, the use of high-quality LEDs, and a sophisticated control system.
Rhenac GreenTec AG has fine-tuned LED technology to stimulate plant growth and crop improvement since the start of the century. Since 2010, Rhenac GreenTec works together with the Biocenter of the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. There they study the interactions between light and grass through various life-stages.
Rhenac Sports LED combines our technical LED expertise with the research results of Munich University with regards to light quality and intensity that grass needs. The ability to deliver any color in the light spectrum allows the Rhenac Sports LED the flexibility to continuously adjust to locally changing weather conditions and to deliver accordingly.
Frequently asked questions CLS Technology
A: From a pitch point of view, our CLS technology can be successful on a 100% natural pitch, as well as on a hybrid pitch. The success does not depend on the grass species, the geographical location of the stadium (continent), or on the orientation of the stadium (north-south-east-west). We can make our CLS technology work on any pitch in any stadium anywhere in the world.
From a practical, operational and financial (ROI) point of view, we strongly suggest our R-BLtechnology as the ideal full pitch solution. It is the pitch management system of the future, and the first example of this R-BL technology is now being constructed at Schalke04. A general video of the technology can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4qO2YGnUSw
This R-BL system consists of large trusses that are integrated in the stadium’s structure (from construction or retrospectively). The trusses move on rails along the sides of the pitch, and can span up to 85m of width without touching the turf. It has 5 functions: targeted irrigation, CLS lighting for grass growth, disease blocking function, infra-red heaters and liquid fertiliser. The R-BL technology is 100% integrated with our pitch heating, ventilation, irrigation, turf analysing and monitoring systems.
A: Chlorophyll will play a role –as soon as the new pitch has been installed, it gets under stress – as you explained. One reaction is a drop in chlorophyll – the leaf starts growing faster to the light in order to alive. With our CLS-Lighting we can stimulate circumstances to increase the chlorophyll-rate. That is one important parameter for a continuous metabolism.
It has been documented that turf that is imported from the open fields of a turf farm into a relatively enclosed and shaded environment is susceptible for stress. This phenomenon is named Photo-inhibition and can be compared with what humans experience when for example one drives a car under bright and sunny conditions into a tunnel. The eyes will take a while to adapt to the dark conditions when entering the tunnel en again to the bright light conditions when leaving the tunnel. A similar effect will occur in the plant when it is first cut and rolled up, then unrolled in shaded conditions and usually rolled and cut. The plant stress is enormous and usually this will lead to excessive release of Nitrogen in the rootzone layer. The plant will try to recover from the damages and automatically starts to encourage leaf growth to reach to the light that is available. Depending on the stadium conditions and also depending on grass varieties, the grass health will be set back.
We strongly suggest to start preparing the turf 4-6 weeks before its transplantation. The fertiliser levels need to be brought down in the plant’s and upper rootzone layer, which often contradicts to the Turf Farmer’s opinion. They want to present a nice lush green surface, but that is the last thing a grounds manager should want.
The CLS system can support the recovery process after the turf has been installed in the stadium by infringing in the plant’s internal processes through applying certain prevailing bandwidth of the PAR spectrum. The strategy is based on slowing down the lengthening of the leaf and creating biomass above the ground surface.
A: See also the previous answer that explains the process of turfing in combination with CLS. The time that it takes for grass to adapt fully to the new conditions is depending on several parameters such as:
- Grass species
- Time of year, i.e. prevailing temperatures at the farm and status of photosynthesis
- Preparation of the turf (see previous answer)
- Turf vitality
- Amount of plant grow light rigs available
As a ball park number of week for predominantly Lolium perenne based turf in West Europe we expect the turf to be able to adapt in 2-3 weeks in the growing season and 1-2 weeks outside the main growing season.
A: Firstly, CLS runs on LED technology which by itself is known to be much more energy efficient than traditional High Pressure Sodium (HPS) technology.
The major objective should be a proper density of the pitch. The more leaf’s per cm², the more photosynthesis per cm² is possible. With HPS we can just trigger Length Grass growth – it needs to be mowed more times to close the density more and more. With our CLS we can take the special spec to give the Growth more branching to close the pitch faster. S controlled Light specs for the right biomass. As soon as the pitch has a proper density, we can change the specs to invest Light-Energy to stabilize roots and leaf ́s. The more resitant the pitch, the shorter the time for recovering/recultivating the pitch, the better it is protected against disease and stress and others, that’s saves energy.
The plant will absorb nearly 100% of the light that it receives, which will speed up all growth processes, and thus decrease the electric bill. A faster pitch generation may also meanthat less mobile units are needed (decrease CAPEX), because the CLS units can be moved quicker to another location on the pitch.
Efficiency is key -thanks to the use of automatic programs and integration into our analysing a monitoring systems, including pitch heating, ventilation and irrigation, we can limit even more the use of electricity.
Moreover, CLS technology is not a switch on/off technology as HPS, so we can also save electricity in warmer months when the infra-red heaters do not need to be switched on.
A faster pitch regeneration not only means that pitches will be in perfect condition for the next fixture, it also means that operational costs decrease –e.g. groundsmen will spend less hours maintaining the pitch, more time available for other tasks.
The longer CLS is used, the stronger the pitch becomes and the longer a pitch will be able to be used, thus limiting the number of pitch changes in the course of the years, which is a considerable cost-saving factor.
Finally, afaster pitch regeneration also means that extra days per year that become available for extra events. If really necessary we can even use the CLS boost function to restore the pitch in less time in periods when many fixtures are played or when there is little time between a fixture and an event.
In short,CLS can help to increase pitch quality(less risk of injures, better playability, perfect visual for broadcasting), decrease operational costs, decrease CAPEX (pitch replacements) and increase income through extra events/concerts
A: We are planning a large event at the Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen in autumn this year to showcase this breakthrough pitch management technology. More info about the event will follow in the course of the following months.
ABOUT RSI-RHENAC SPORTS LED
Rhenac Sports LED was the first company to recognize the significance of supplementing grass pitches with a balanced combination of blue and red colors. Together with scientists from the Technical University of Munich, Rhenac Sports LED established the exact dose blue or red parts of the visible spectrum. This is the type of light that stimulates photosynthesis for grasses.
They were also the first to succeed in packaging this knowledge in rigs with LED grass grow lighting technology. The highly accurate LED technology used delivers this dose with pinpoint accuracy onto the sections of the field where additional care is needed. The Rhenac Sports LED technology has a reduced energy consumption and produces less heat compared to conventional sodium vapor luminaires used in out dated technology.
RSI offers three different units:
WE FIGHT COVID19 IN NATURAL GRASS WITH OUR UV-C GRASS CARE TECHNOLOGY
Apart from using LED technology to stimulate germination and grass growth, Rhenac Sports LED has also developed a sustainable and environmentally-friendly grass disease control. It treats algae, fungus and diseases commonly experienced in natural grass fields. Our UV-C machine, 6 meters wide can help fight COVID19 in Natural Turf.
The Rhenac Sports LED UV-C specifically produces a defined green colour that frustrates the growth of fungus and algae on any surface. The light can also be used as a plant diseases treatment.
The UV-C unit folds out to a width of 6m. It fits on any tractor commonly used by grounds maintenance crews. Thanks to special foam makers, a full-size football field can be treated within 30 to 45 minutes. An adjusted version is available that can be used for golf courses or other areas where slopes occur. Documented data show a 95% reduction of fungus and algae can be achieved when a field is treated two or three times a week.
The Rhenac Sports LED UV-C has proven to be effective on both natural turf and synthetic turf surfaces. Adopting this method allows clubs and venue owners to save on pesticides or the need for special permits.
OUR 6M WIDE LED UV-C LIGHTING FIGHT COVID19 IN NATURAL TURF
The pitch management system of the future has arrived. The R-BL system powered by the latest LED lighting technology will automatically change its light spectrum depending on the ever-changing weather conditions. It is a fully automated system with integrated LED lighting, sprinkling, fertilizing, disease blocking, infra-red lighting and measuring system. Designed for high-end stadiums to cover half (3,500m2) or a complete pitch (7,000m2) without touching the natural turf.
INFLUENCE OF LIGHT EXPLAINED
All plants require light and CO2 for photosynthesis. Stimulating or adjusting the Daily Light Integral (DLI) can help reducing the rooting time of cuttings and seedlings, and increasing crop quality.
Light is the driving force for photosynthesis, the process that changes sunlight into chemical energy within plants and grasses. During photosynthesis, water is split in a chemical reaction and separated into oxygen and hydrogen. In this process carbon dioxide (CO2) is converted into sugar.
A general rule of thumb is that 1% more light will produce a similar percentage increase in growth, resulting in a 1% higher yield.
- Speed up germination and recovery
- More dense, stable and healthy pitch
- Sustainable solution for maintaining natural grass pitches
- Easy to use
Frequently asked questions UV-C Technology
A: They used the UV-C system on one training pitch. The remaining training pitches acted as control.
A: We didn`t do specific tests on that topic, because algae are more dependent on the humidity and water status of the pitch than light. We feel that the effect of different light qualities on algae is not crucial.
A: I would personally remove the dead leaf from the grass surface prior to the treatment as ongoing maintenance practice in Autumn. That will also give the opportunity to dispose the dead leaf mass to a central depot and hence control the potential infection. To place a blower unit in front of the UVC unit might be possible in technical sense, it appears to me very unpractical.
A: Sterile water does not affect or stop the UV-C radiation to penetrate and hence it would not affect the treatment as such. UV-C light is widely used for bacterial treatment at drinking water supply facilities, whereby the light travels through the water medium. Irrigation water is another thing as this potentially contains lower or higher dose of iron. Iron could potentially block (parts of) the UV-C light.
A: The UVC unit is powered by the electrical system of the tractor. Via a transformer that is placed on the UVC unit, the required power output for the UVC lights is generated.
A: The UV-light intensity and application time is a combination of the maximum reduction of the infestation and the minimum damage to the plants. If climate conditions are mostly unfavourable in that location it is best to increase the number of applications per week (which needs to be evaluated on each location) than changing the intensity. This will work for most grass types.
A: We have not yet tested at Cyanobacteria since it has not been a major issue for now. It is possible that they behave differently, though we expect the treatment to give the same result.
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