The first phase of the Horticulture Data Protocol (HDP) has been completed. Different stakeholders in the supply chain which are mainly growers, climate computer manufacturers, LED suppliers, LED driver manufacturers and installers have been involved in meetings about this protocol. It has been established that there is a broad support for the development of a standard protocol among these stakeholders. The findings of these meetings have been assimilated in a list of requirements and a plan has been made. The plan has been approved by the innovation program ‘Kas als Energiebron’ which is a part of ‘Stichting Kennis in je Kas’. This means the realisation of the protocol can commence.
About the brightness
The goal of the protocol is to let all the hardware in the greenhouse communicate in the same language. The emphasis will be on dimmable LED lighting for now. Ramón van de Vrie (initiator HDP): “In order for dimmable LED lighting to work properly, all links in the chain must be able to be connected to each other, like for instance sensors, LED (drivers), gateways and climate computers. They must speak the same language. How do you note brightness? Do we talk about PAR or micromoles and if so, how many digits behind the decimal? Because there is no default, everyone develops their own language. Because of the lack of uniformity every project needs customization to have everything work together properly. It’s not just passing on. You also want to know whether a message is received. This requires two-way communication, also known as bi-directional. HDP will ensure every certified hardware is ‘plug and play’.
Broad support, participants give individual input
It was agreed that this was a real challenge. But how do you arrive at a standard protocol? Ramón van de Vrie: “Almost all the companies we spoke to are willing to participate in the protocol. These companies are sometimes each other’s competition. To arrive at a proper working protocol every party must be able to speak freely. Based on the meetings with the stakeholders, it has been decided to speak about the details of HDP individually. The outcome, the protocol, will be shared with the whole consortium (without revealing the origin or to name underlying details).”
Kick off for participants and interested parties
Now that the first phase has been approved, the realisation of the protocol is about to start. Ramón van de Vrie: “At the moment, we are organizing a festive kick off meeting. In this meeting we will present the plan and toast with all participating companies to the actual start of HDP. We will do everything in our power to making HDP an international success. Details regarding the kick off meeting will be revealed in due course.
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