New Plant Growth Facilities at The University of Glasgow

“ It’s great to see investment like this in good quality equipment, the University have purchased solid, reliable chambers that are easy to maintain whilst having exceptional functionality"

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and ranks 73rd in the top 100 of the world's universities in the QS World University Rankings. With stunning buildings within the heart of Glasgow in a Gothic Revival style, by architect George Gilbert Scott, it is safe to say that the University is steeped in history and achievement. Indeed, with many notable names in the Alumni such as John Logie Baird, James Watt, and William Thomson, Lord Kelvin among many others, the huge contribution to the world by the University in fostering these many talents cannot be overlooked. Even Albert Einstein lectured there! If you choose to study, there you would be walking in the footsteps of some of the world's most renowned innovators.

More recently the University has been benefitting from huge investment to upgrade and expand current facilities and teaching spaces all while striving to meet its objectives to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. The £90.6 Million James McCune Smith learning hub, forms part of the £1 Bn, 10-year campus investment.

Whilst our history here at Weiss Technik only goes back a century rather than 5, we do have 'history' going back over 20 years working with The University of Glasgow for environmental test systems, mainly Plant Growth rooms and chambers in the Plant Science department.

Following a successful bid for funding from the Salix Energy Efficiency Fund, Mr. Craig Carr Deputy Chief Technician for Ri-MCSB based in the Bower building & Estates Energy Manager Mrs. Gillian Brown released a tender for an update of the plant growth facilities in the Stevenson Annex of the Bower Building last year.

Following a successful bid, meeting all the required energy efficiency specifications and environmental conditions for the facility, Weiss Technik was chosen to supply three new state-of-the-art reach-in environmental chambers. The SGC3 FITOTRON Plant Growth Chamber.

These have now been delivered and commissioned, albeit slightly delayed due to the ongoing pandemic, and have now replaced two malfunctioning, energy-intensive walk-in chambers. The new SGC 3 chambers will improve energy efficiency with updated LED lighting and climate control technologies, substantially reducing the carbon footprint of the Universities research. In addition, they will offer greater flexibility for accommodating work with microalgae and larger crop plants.

The university is still in the process of modernising and updating the space around the chambers but all 3 are now fully installed and commissioned.

Commissioning was carried out by Michael Smith, Service Engineers.  Michael has been with Weiss Technik since 2020 but has been involved with university projects with a previous employer. He states, "It’s great to see investment like this in good quality equipment, the University has purchased solid, reliable chambers that are easy to maintain whilst having exceptional functionality”.

Business Development Manager, Frazer North was delighted to see the chambers in position already in use and caught a couple of snaps of Michael and Craig during the commissioning. Frazer says, “ Weiss Technik is striving to reduce energy usage on all of our systems and reduce the overall carbon footprint and cost of ownership. This goes for our complete range of chambers, from plant growth to drive-in test facilities. With huge advances in refrigeration technology, control strategy, and our manufacturing processes we are confident that our products are meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations for efficiency. The investment at Glasgow is most impressive with new buildings and facilities, it almost makes me want to be a student!”

The supplied SGC 3 chambers are fully climatic giving excellent growth height, smart airflow, and an impressive 1917 litres of growth space. The chambers are mobile, fitted with castors and are all powered from a single-phase source. Each chamber has a different shelf and light configuration using dimmable LED lighting, and an impressive temperature and humidity range. Further information on the SGC FITOTRON range can be found here.