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Harrie van der Linden

"The world of horticulture is made up of extremely enthusiastic people"

The Philips Horticulture LED Solutions team provides custom solutions for crops, horticulturists and researchers alike. The Application Engineers at Philips create the technical solution by using a combination of mechanics, electronics, optics and construction calculations. On top of that they also have to take into account the type of crop and the climatic conditions to predict the number of plants for the given situation. Harrie van der Linden has long experience of working with light and electricity and enjoys exploring and doing pioneering work in new horizons in horticulture.

Small and innovative projects are most difficult
“I have always found technology interesting, which is why I opted to go to an MTS (technical secondary) college when I left school. You receive a fairly general education there. Useful, but I enjoy working creatively. So after a while I went to work at a company that made lighting plans for shops, offices and the hotel, restaurant and catering industry. This entails such aspects as atmosphere and efficiency. Creatively enthralling, but on the other hand also fairly limited as regards applications. So after several years I was ready for a new move: horticulture.”

Passion and enthusiasm
“The projects I work on for Philips are really varied. They range from mega-projects involving thousands of modules in huge greenhouses to small test set-ups for clients and students. One of the enjoyable aspects of the work is the contact with the horticulturists. The world of horticulture is made up of extremely enthusiastic people who in many cases have been working for generations in tomatoes, roses, cucumbers or other crops. Just as our plant specialists. This is backed by such an incredible amount of know-how and passion. They can see at a glance exactly whether the crop is feeling well or not. I find this fascinating to behold. At the same time it's also nice working on the trail-blazing projects being done by students. Setting up the small test set-ups they use is a considerable challenge. Here there's a huge difference between a white wall, a black wall and a glass wall. This is very different in a large greenhouse, the conditions are much more constant.”

Pioneering work
“Since the smaller and more complex projects demand more of you they're also more interesting. For instance, I've just finished a trial in which algae went downwards through all kinds of glass tubes in a kind of spiral. This had to be lit from all sides and of course the employees also had to have access to it, this is really innovative technology. We're doing something new here, doing pioneering work and pushing back boundaries. Our efforts are helping the horticulturists further. That's something I'm quite proud of.”

From orange to purple
“It's a special experience to be part of a new development. For example, I recently drove through Finland on a working visit. The lights in the greenhouses turned the layer of clouds orange. As I was driving through the dark night from one orange layer of clouds to the next it occurred to me that there would probably soon be lots of purple-colored clouds in the Finnish sky: the combination of the deep-red and blue from our LED lamps. I'm convinced that in the near future our innovations will be the new standard.”

For more information
Philips Horticulture LED Solutions
Daniela Damoiseaux
Global MarCom Manager
High Tech Campus 45, Eindhoven
HTC 45, Ground Floor, PO Box 80020, 5600JM Eindhoven
T: +31 6 31 65 29 69+31 6 31 65 29 69

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