Making vertical farming viable

Control Engineering UK looks at the role that machine control has played in helping make vertical farming a commercially viable option. 

Vertical farming is a technique which involves growing crops in trays, stacked vertically. The technique can offer many benefits. It uses less water, pesticides, fertiliser and has lower labour costs than traditional farming methods. Food can also be grown closer to the point of use, in urban settings, or areas not normally suitable for agriculture. 
Henry Aykroyd, CEO at vertical farming developer, Intelligent Growth Solution (IGS), explains the advantages of the technique: “Vertical farming allows us to provide the exact lighting and environmental conditions necessary for optimal plant growth. The collected growth data ensures the technique is repeatable in any location, at any time, providing fresh, consistent crops with less wastage than other techniques.”
The main sticking point that has halted the widespread adoption of vertical farming is that it requires a great deal of energy. Even though vertical farming uses power efficient LED lighting, a way to lower the energy costs to a level that would make it commercially viable has not been found. 
IGS has developed several ways of getting round these commercial obstacles by increasing the adoption of automation technology, smart lighting and flexing with the grid.  
IGS was founded around the idea of a unique growth tower as a machine concept, based around a vertical stacking system. The tower design features 64 4m x 1.6m growing trays. The stacking system-based tower design is highly scalable, as each tower would have its own control system. All serviceable parts are contained within the first 1m of the tower and access to the crops is granted when the tray leaves the tower which negates the need for staff to work at height.   Full Article:

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

EXAIR Corporation - Chip Trapper™

EXAIR Corporation - Chip Trapper™

The patented Chip Trapper offers a fast, easy way to clean chips, swarf and shavings out of used coolants and other liquids. The Chip Trapper vacuums the coolant or liquid that is filled with debris and traps all the solids in a reusable filter bag. Only the liquid pumps back out. It is ideal for use on machines with sumps, parts washers, tanks and storage containers of contaminated liquids. The Chip Trapper uses EXAIR's compressed air powered Reversible Drum Vac (included) that can fill or empty a 55 gallon drum in less than two minutes. Simply set the Reversible Drum Vac pump and directional flow control valve on top of the drum to "fill" for it to quickly vacuum the liquid with solids. Once the sump, pit or tank is empty, set the pump and directional valve to "empty" for it to pump out clean coolant/liquid. All the chips and other solids are trapped inside the reusable filter bag of the Chip Trapper. Learn more here