CIAT’s solution was to use one plant growth chamber with two independently controlled growth areas. The growth chamber is a smaller reach in style unit with an internal capacity of 17 ft3 (480l) (Conviron, E7/2). One unique feature of CIAT’s chamber is that the top growth zone can be controlled and monitored independently from the bottom. Because the top and bottom zones function separately, the chamber can accommodate CIAT’s need to expose plants to different experimental conditions within the same chamber. CIAT’s chamber can then run consistent temperature, humidity, and airflow conditions on both the top and bottom zones while changing the light intensity (top and bottom tier) and spectrum (top tier) plants are exposed to.
To accommodate the different light intensities and spectrum the bottom half of the chamber is outfitted with T8 fluorescent and halogen incandescent lighting while the top shelf utilizes LED lighting (Heliopspectra, RX30). In order to not lose growth space within the top zone and remove heat from the growth area, engineers cut out recesses on the top of the chamber to optimally situate the LED lights.
The two zone solution employed by CIAT may be a suitable approach to other research programs requiring different growing environments but with limited space to do so.
The objective of this blog is to provide insight on the technologies associated with plant growth chambers around the world by showcasing their usage in universities, institutes and other research centers of excellence.
The blog draws upon the work of clients and other users of controlled environment equipment, Conviron subject matter experts and Conviron’s long history as the world’s leading manufacturer of controlled environments.