Components | Thermal Management | Heat Sink | Feb 21, 2017

MechaTronix Launches First Horticulture Cooling Platforms

That horticulture lighting is hot these days is an understatement. The media attention, dedicated events and manifold speakers attracting the listeners all point out that there is a big future (read capital) behind led lighting in the horti- and agriculture sphere. All the players are preparing their strategies and products to earn a piece of the pie, and so is one of the thermal market leaders, MechaTronix from Taiwan. We speak to Koen Vangorp, CEO of the company. “The thermal challenges and opportunities in horticulture lighting are from an unprecedented level and will definitely impact the future of our company. Were MechaTronix started off with cooling of spot lights and down lights ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand lumen, they now end up in the era of kilowatts of energy losses which need to be cooled away, environments with extreme needs on temperature and humidity control, and nothing yet standardized on the market…”

LED emitter

efficiency   

heat loss

White   

20-35%

65-80%

Royal/Deep Blue  

65-70% 

30-35%

Hyper Red  

50-55%

45-50%

Far Red    

40-45%

55-60%

“First of all it is worth knowing that independent the power of your luminaire, the heat losses of horticulture LEDs are completely different as those we know best from our white lighting sources. While white corrected single emitters or COBs range from efficiencies of 20% up to 35%, horticulture LEDs with their specific wavelengths like royal or deep blue, hyper red and far red come at a complete different efficiency and resulting heat loss. A rough overview of a few variants shows that the heat losses in horticulture luminaires are depending on the color and wavelength mix, and are significantly less than in white light applications”

“On the other hand the power used per square meter or running meter is much higher in horticulture farming compared to for example a retail project. In horticulture farming we have to distinguish greenhouse farming from vertical farming or city farming projects. Without the extra daylight the power used per square meter easily goes up as far as 400 watts per square meter. Taken in account the losses seen above, that means that 200 watts of heat has to be cooled away, in a luminaire as small and light weight as possible, with respect to the environmental needs like waterproof IP degrees. Looks challenging, but keep in mind that the energy saving effect in these power consuming environments only make the ROI’s shorter and more worth going for it compared to the old technology.”

“MechaTronix is investing big times in new cooling technologies aiming at the horticulture market. Just a few months ago they acquired heat pipe and thermosyphon specialist Cooling House from Taipei. Now a first example of their focus on horticulture LED cooling, the CoolFin®, is unveiling. The first model is a 600 watt ultra-compact light weight cooler based on advanced heat pipe technology. Reason for this choice was simple – a quick market share with the ideal replacement for the current 1000 watt HID horticulture installed field.”

The patented CoolFin® is developed in this way that it can either accommodate a board with multiple horticulture emitters in various wavelengths as well as a combination of 4 horticulture high power COBs up to 600 Watts. A spider construction of 22 high-end heat pipes lead the extreme thermal power away to a raster of light-weight stack fins. The complete design is IP67 waterproof resistant to withstand the moisture and dust levels relevant to horticulture environments.

Koen Vangorp: “Certainly in the field of Chip On Board (COB) we expect a rapid implementation in the horticultural market over the next years where specific recipes of wave lengths will be reached by phosphor modifications. The simplicity of implementation which COBs have shown in the white light market will also ease the designs and speed up their market share in the horticulture field. On longer term we expect a similar evolution in horticulture as what we have seen in other fields like shop lighting or the high bay market. Engines will become available in standardized sized fitting on predefined led cooler platforms, waterproof lenses will come in a variety of materials and beam angles, and drivers will remain drivers, only a bit smarter… Success is in time-to-market and market knowledge more than product knowledge, so we look forward to a growing future”

For more information on LED cooling for horticulture applications led@mechatronix-asia.com or please visit www.led-heatsink.com

About MechaTronix:

MechaTronix was founded as a creative designer & manufacturer of high end mechanical plastic & metal parts. With its Asia-based headquarters in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, MechaTronix became a powerhouse at designing and manufacturing heat sinks and thermal solutions for OEM and LED lighting applications. Strategic partnerships with major LED manufacturers and sharing our thermal knowledge with their luminaire designers are our core missions. Simple passive cooling, advanced heat pipe technology or active cooling solutions? - MechaTronix offers of the shelf and tailored solutions to its worldwide professional customer base.

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