Vergromat has developed a new system that has the potential to transform and influence vertical farming technology. The new vertical farming solution aims to help decrease the production sites’ energy consumption by up to 80%.
As the world population continues to grow, and almost reach a total of 8 billion people, it also causes some challenges for the world. As people continue to move to bigger cities, it creates new demands and challenges for food production around the world. Vertical farming has for some time been viewed as the future of farming, and now the Danish company Vergromat has come up with a solution to some of its challenges, such as lowering the energy consumption by up to 80%.
Vergromat has developed the new system in collaboration with University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Lillegaard Teknik and Rosa Danica. They have recently completed the program AutomationsBoost, which is run by RoboCluster and Business Region Fyn.
A new robotics fairytale from Funen
“The system could be a new robotics fairytale from Funen, where the production of plants and crops in dirt and greenhouses is supplied by production near the customers. The term ‘from farm to table’ suddenly has new meaning, as vertical farming can happen in big cities, directly in supermarkets and from Greenland to Sahara,” says Vergromat’s chairman Johnny Killerup.
Vergromat’s prototype is currently being tested at Rosa Danica, a global provider of potted plants, on Funen. The idea behind the new solution is to change the production completely. It has several benefits to modernise a production site to be fully driven by robotics and automation. The transformation requires a change to a completely new greenhouse architecture. This means no more enormous fields that has to be covered by glass, no more unwanted insects (less chemical use), and lastly a significant decrease in energy consumption.
It is a closed circulatory system that is not influenced by external factors such as sunlight, heat and humidity. This helps the system to save on energy consumption, and gives the opportunity to control the production from the beginning to end when they reach the consumer. This helps to control the productions’ water consumption and waste.
A solution for the future
Vergromat’s development of a new vertical farming system can potentially have a large influence on the future production of flowers, plants and vegetables. The new adaptable system can move production sites into big cities and thereby provide better access to the consumers, also known as ‘urban gardening’.
Johnny Killerup states that “there was a need to think differently due to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the increase population growth, increased focus on food safety and quality. More effective robotics and automations systems will not only modernize the industry of foods and crops but will also give a helping hand for the climate and the future population.”
The reduced amount of energy consumption and transportation is also beneficial to the climate situation and is an important new development to help us reach the Danish government’s goal to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by 70% by 2030.
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