Micro–climate control in a grow–cell:system development and overview

Tsitsimpelis, Ioannis and Taylor, C. James (2014) Micro–climate control in a grow–cell:system development and overview. In: International Federation of Automatic Control 19th Triennial World Congress. UNSPECIFIED, Cape Town, South Africa.

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The research behind this article aims to reduce the operational costs and energy consumption of closed-environment growing systems, or grow-cells. Essentially a sealed building with a controlled environment, and insulated from outside lighting, grow-cells are configured to suit the particular crop being produced. There are numerous research questions relating to their design and operation, including their energy requirements, air movement, dehumidification, internal racking design, different ways to deploy artificial LED lighting, and the monitoring of crop reaction to these. The present article briefly reviews the concept and describes some preliminary work in relation to a demonstration system being developed by the authors and collaborating industry partner. This prototype consists of a 12m x 2.4m shipping container with a commercial heating/ventilation system. Multi-layer growing trays are circulated by means of a novel conveyor system. The article describes the development of the conveyor control system, summarises research into LED light selection, and introduces the thermal modelling approach. The latter is illustrated using experimental data from a laboratory scale test chamber.

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19 Mar 2014 09:02
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21 Nov 2022 15:26