In a greenhouse, every percent of light counts. The arrival of diffuse glass with an anti-reflection coating provides a high light transmission and therefore a higher yield. However, also for this glass, the advantage does not hold up if the glass is dirty. A new cleaning agent that cleans the glass optimally from dust and plant residues, but does not affect the vulnerable AR coating, is the new cleaning agent AR Clean. This cleaning agent has recently become available at, among others, contracting company De 3 Koningen.
New spraying technique
Barry van Leeuwen of De 3 Koningen explains that AR Clean was developed by a grower together with a chemical technologist because he could not find a good cleaning agent for his greenhouses. “As a contract worker, I added the practical knowledge to it. In collaboration with the grower, we discovered for example that the product had to be applied very evenly to achieve the desired result.
"That is why we have developed a new spraying technique, which enables us to clean streak-free. It also had to become an agent that didn't need brushing. After all, brushes and sponges can leave tiny particles that affect light transmission. Just apply the correct dilution of AR Clean, let it soak in briefly and rinse and allow it to air dry sufficiently."
Looking for the right balance
Anti-reflection can be processed into the glass in two ways. Either the glass is roughened so that the incoming sunlight is scattered, or a coating is embedded into the glass that gives the same effect. If a cleaning agent contains excess aggressive substances, it will damage the coating and you will miss the scattering of light. It therefore was necessary to find the right proportions of active substances. AR Clean contains ingredients of natural origin.
“Three years ago we started testing various cleaning products, all with different compositions. The following year, we tested two random roof sections at a greenhouse horticulture company. We did not measure any negative side effects compared to the agents with which we cleaned the rest of the greenhouse. After having it also tested by two glass suppliers to ensure that the glass was not damaged, we were able to determine the final proportions.
"Other agents are used in a percentage of four to eight percent; with AR Clean you already achieve the desired results with two percent. With persisting dirt, you can increase the concentration to three percent. The transmission gains achieved after cleaning with AR Clean are significantly better."
Low investment, high return
In 2018, the first greenhouse was completely cleaned with AR Clean by De 3 Koningen, to the full satisfaction of the grower. Barry expects that soon the product will be used frequently during crop rotation, when the crop is cleared and when the greenhouse is cleaned. “Diffuse glass is becoming increasingly popular, especially in vegetable cultivation. It is used in most new construction projects. AR glass is an expensive investment, so growers will benefit if they can keep the glass clean for a long time. A good cleaning agent is a low investment compared to the return it yields. The first glass cleanings with AR Clean have now been carried out and the results are very good."
Barry: +31 (0)6-290 714 51