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Kostas Test 2

This is a test Innovation report

New growing system for food vertical farming

The main specific objective of this innovation lies in recreating, indoor, environmental conditions suitable for the growth of various types of vegetal organisms

Developed by Rina Consulting (in collaboration with Area Engineering S.r.l., SVECOM PE and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia)

This solution consists of a cultivation system on opposite stages developed with aero-hydroponic technology (off-ground and no soil) and a controlled sterile environment (temperature, humidity, light, nourishment). The system integrates specific LED lamps and indoor microclimate control which make possible to manage seasonal and night-time cycles, to optimize production capacity, to reduce water consumption by 90%, and to cancel the use of anti-fungal agents.

TRL4. Laboratory testing of prototype component or process
Technology validated in lab. Basic technological components are integrated to establish that they will work together. This is relatively “low fidelity” compared with the eventual system. Examples include integration of “ad hoc” hardware in the laboratory. Laboratory testing of the prototype components for growth process has been performed.

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

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How does it work?

A semi-automated indoor planting system is based on technological racks capable of handling all the stages of plant growth developed in germination chambers. The racks contain, support and communicate with other technology/plant components integrated into the system, such as the nutrient pumping system, the recovery circuit, the blue spectrum lighting system, and a complete monitoring system integrated by growth sensors, moving cameras installed on rails, etc. As a whole, the system is able to generate an eco-efficient and bioclimatic architectural body consisting of different blocks, each one for a growth phase, which are linked among them by a computerized-driven building service that stimulates and accelerates the ecological growth of plant-specific organisms through an aero-hydroponic cultivation technology.

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective

In case that the vertical farming system is combined with a renewable energy production system, it must be locally calibrated in order to get the maximum capacity of plant production and the full energy autonomy.

Added value
This innovative vertical-farm concept is designed for the outbound production of plant organisms on technologically advanced vertical platforms that are associated with minor water consumption and can be inserted into a bioclimatic casing that compensates for the high energy demand of the aero-hydroponic cultivation system.

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