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Research project aims to control sunlight, extend growing season and conserve energy
Date:1/9/2008

rgy demands of The Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse, an 18,000 square foot conservatory showcasing two endangered ecosystems, the spiny desert of Madagascar and the cloud forest of Costa Rica. Outside the Garden, the development of sustainable greenhouses that are adaptable to different climates and regions could breathe new life into Ohios signature green industries - floriculture, nursery and landscape - while also contributing to a more environmentally sustainable world.

Kent States Liquid Crystal Institute (LCI) was the natural partner. The LCI is the world leader in liquid crystal research and education. Its research has produced patents, commercial products and spin-off companies, including switchable glass panels.

This is a huge opportunity for Kent State and for the Cleveland Botanical Garden, said Dr. John L. West, vice president for Research and dean of Graduate Studies at Kent State. The project combines liquid crystal technology, horticulture and architecture to harness sunlight. There is great potential for spin-off industries and technology, grant funding for both energy efficiency and plant growth and wide benefits to the public.

In keeping with its core mission as an educational institution, the Garden will inform visitors and the public at-large about the project and its real-time progress, raising awareness, understanding, and acceptance of new, practical solutions for the worlds environmental issues. Results of this study may also have applications beyond the commercial greenhouse industry to residential greenhouses, conservatories, and major office and museum-like glass structures.


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Contact: Scott Rainone
srainone@kent.edu
Kent State University
Source:Eurekalert

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