Dutch PlantLab Revolutionizes Farming: No Sunlight, No Windows, Less Water, Better Food

page: 2
132
<< 1    3  4  5 >>

log in

join

posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 05:13 PM
link   

Originally posted by James1982

Originally posted by metaldemon2000
Must be hot and humid in those facilities. Wonder if they will call it a dutch oven???

But in seriousness. Good find s&f


LEDs don't put off much heat at all, and they say they recycle the evaporated water so I'd imagine they have some sort of dehumidifier setup or something. Probably wouldn't really be that uncomfortable in there!

This is indeed great technology. Indoor grows used to be expensive and difficult. If you are using HPS or Metal Halide grow lamps you put out a ton of heat, suck a ton of energy, you have to wire up ballasts and sometimes even have your house re-wired to take the additional load.

With LEDs there is almost no heat, the energy requirements are way lower. The run-time on high output HPS or Metal Halide lamps is nothing compared to LEDs. You could probably grow indoors for two people's lifetimes with the same LEDs before they burn out. Instead of replacing bulbs every year or two depending on how often you run them.

It would be cool to have a solar array rigged up on the roof and exterior walls on one of these grow warehouses. It could be almost entirely self contained.
wouldn't it be great to have a small one in your own home,grow all of your produce all year round.




posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 05:30 PM
link   
reply to post by TWILITE22
 


Indeed, even at a supplemental level, especially if powered by solar too.

spec



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 06:40 PM
link   
I just thought about how useful this could be for colonizing Mars or the Moon.

Less water used, less energy required, seems like a great way to grow food and potentially generate oxygen for an off-planet colony. Although I believe there are more productive ways of generating oxygen (algae?) than with food crops, but they are going to generate oxygen nonetheless, so it would be a nice way to supplement your oxygen supply.

There seems to be a great deal of water on Mars. Set up a few of these grow houses underground on Mars, extract water and put an array of solar cells on the surface.

This isn't a new idea or anything, but the method being used in the OP's article would make it a lot easier to do than it would have been previously.

Like someone else said, this would be a nice setup for personal use. Use your attic, basement, spare room, closed in back porch, etc as a little grow room. Get Potatoes, Tomatoes, Cucumber, lettuce, carrots. I wonder if they have any plans to sell an "at home kit' that contains all the LEDs, sensors, and software for you to run on your computer. It would be nice to see a cost analysis for such a system, I wonder how much the sensors and everything costs for a house-scale operation.

Like I said earlier they talk about recycling the evaporated water, so there must also be some sort of dehumidifier or something.

I'd imagine it wouldn't be cheap, but it should last a long time, and you can have delicious, safe, fresh veggies for next to nothing.

This system also seems like it could help a lot of developing countries, or places where traditional farming is impossible or too costly. Integrating solar with this system seems like the logical next step, and would also help out places with no electricity and what not.

Imagine 20 years from now, you live in a high rise apartment that has a mini-market inside, that sells fresh fruits and veggies that were grown on a floor of your apartment building.

There are so many possibilities with this setup, I can imagine this company becoming very successful.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 06:49 PM
link   
Yes, it would seem idea for the notion of space colonization, and i think we will see a lot of this in the future, it just makes too much sense. The sales of these LED systems, on a personal level, are already taking off and we should be seeing a lot more about it.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply james


spec



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 06:50 PM
link   

Originally posted by James1982
Less water used, less energy required, seems like a great way to grow food and potentially generate oxygen for an off-planet colony.
That's the problem, we don't know how much energy is required or if it's more or less than the alternatives.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 06:56 PM
link   
reply to post by ArMaP
 


I would submit that I suspect it is the cheapest approach yet for large scale indoor operations. because thus far, the only alternative is larger lights. However, compared to outdoor farming, I am not so sure. Some factors to include in that angle would be weather dependency for efficient outputs of product, pest management, and maybe labor, which I would think may be cheaper in this system when compared to traditional indoor horticulture. Just thinking....

ETA: found this info:
www.led-grow-master.com...

Still, no end results though to yields.
edit on 14-8-2011 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 06:59 PM
link   
Definately S&F for this..

OK .. this should drop the entire food prices by half IMO~!!



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 07:07 PM
link   
Whatever costs they save by using this system would be eaten up by the cost of growing in a skyscraper, don't you think?


Maybe they meant a skyscraper in the middle of nowhere. That would be cheaper.

Red and blue LED growing lights are available for sale online. They're expensive for the light you get though. Maybe making your own would be cheaper (if you can wire it up). LEDs themselves are extremely cheap, at least the kind I'm familiar with.

But also consider that the high-techness of it all will increase the price. This is a business after all, and they're not interested in giving away their technology for free. I would expect the price to be the same (or more) as field-grown plants.

I like what they're trying to do though - to make farming available by alternative methods.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 07:11 PM
link   
reply to post by glitchinmymatrix
 


But a skyscraper could provide immediate food for that city. Plus when you consider transportation costs alone from importing farm products to the cities, it gets expensive. Then there is the mark up from retailers too, where a skyscraper could provide straight from the manufacturer maybe. We know of coming food shortages, due to both demand and strange and inconsistent weather. So at least the supplemental aspect of this tech is appealing.
Plus, most cities have plenty of abandoned buildings these days. I'm thinking of Detroit, or New Orleans as examples.

Thanks for the reply,
spec
edit on 14-8-2011 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 07:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by ArMaP

Originally posted by James1982
Less water used, less energy required, seems like a great way to grow food and potentially generate oxygen for an off-planet colony.
That's the problem, we don't know how much energy is required or if it's more or less than the alternatives.


This is true, but I'm just making a logical guess that it's less compared to traditional HPS or Metal Halide indoor grows. The amount of heat those things put off is crazy, and all that heat is just wasted energy.

We know for a fact LEDs used for grow lights consume much less energy than HPS/MH lamps with the same amount of usable light output. The only issue, then, would be the energy requirements of sensors, computers, and whatever sort of water recycling system they use. Sensors generally don't use much energy, and I see no reason why you would need a big powerful gaming PC to run their software. You could probably use a tablet computer to run it.

So I am just making a guess that the energy requirements of the sensors and computer is made up for with the energy savings you get with the LEDs, but I think that's a fairly logical guess to make.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 07:26 PM
link   
This looks interesting but i would like to see some reports on nutritional content versus traditionally grown veggies.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 07:33 PM
link   
reply to post by calstorm
 

I'm willing to bet that the nutrition may trump natural grown because of the computers involvement and control over every single aspect of the growing process. However, I bet taste would not be the same, and I wonder about appearance too. Still, even if this is supplemental instead of replacing regular techniques, it is a huge leap forward.

spec



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 07:33 PM
link   

Originally posted by calstorm
This looks interesting but i would like to see some reports on nutritional content versus traditionally grown veggies.


That would be helpful. Although, is there any reason to believe that this system would degrade the nutritional value of the veggies?

The whole idea behind this, as I understand it, is to provide the most ideal environment for a plant to grow. One would assume that a plant growing in an ideal environment would be more than able to produce nutritious food. Although the nutrients available to the plant from the growth medium is a large factor in this of course.

I forgot to mention in my previous post about the energy savings of this system. They are able to drastically increase the yield of a given grow. This would add further energy savings. Even if the energy cost to grow one square yard of Tomatoes is equal to growing a square yard of tomatoes with traditional indoor growing tech, if you increase the yield then you still net an energy savings, because you are producing more food for a given plot.

But I still say this has got to be more energy efficient than traditional indoor grows, even without taking the increased yield into account. I'm still poking around their website and trying to find some actual numbers, if I find anything I'll report back.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 07:43 PM
link   
I am quite sure that this will take off. As for the cost of the equipment, I have been told by many businessmen that components are cheaper than you think. For example, the disc drive in a laptop costs less than 16 wholesale. Cost of production is even lower.

The cost is in the man-hours it takes to build your structure and set it all up. It all gets better from there. With so much of the world at the cusp of a turning point, money may no longer be as much of an issue.

I have been told that there are many people in the world with more money than they know what to do with. Projects like PlantLab will eventually be visited by these angel investors, once the investor's trust is gained.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 08:12 PM
link   
Well, I've been going through the website and still can't find very much technical data. It's more of an advertisement than an information website, which I guess makes sense as they are trying to sell their product.

From what I gathered from the articles I've read, it doesn't seem to be well suited to a small, personal grow. It really only seems to be economically feasible on a large scale, where mass amounts of production offset the cost of the entire system. There seems to be talk of a lot of automation, which again is good for large scale production, but for personal use seems far too expensive. There is a lot of interest in tailoring the grow time for the plants, and basically micro managing every aspect of growing and cultivation. Which really isn't necessary for a personal operation. It doesn't matter to you or I if it takes a day or two more before harvesting, so getting things like that so exact doesn't seem very important.

There are a few key components that seem to be the most important. First of all the LEDs, and second of all the "plant profile" where they figure out the exact environment each plant grows the best in.

Their entire system doesn't really seem like it could easily be adapted to a personal, or even a small scale community grow operation. But if you take the two previously mentioned parts and use those together, I bet you could get results pretty close to what they do.

I too am starting to question the energy requirements as a previous poster was. They strictly control temperature and humidity which will take some pretty beefy HVAC stuff if you are doing it on a large scale. I still doubt the software issue will be a big energy hog.

But, again, I think this could be done on a personal level by making a few concessions. Instead of having everything automated you could simply attend to the details yourself. The biggest thing here, in my opinion, is still the LEDs and the plant profile they make for each crop.

If you could get a hold of the research they did as far as the plant profile thing is concerned, which tells you the best temperature, humidity, light cycle, etc you could control these factors by yourself without a big complex computer controlled setup.

LED grow lights are easily sourced, so that wouldn't be an issue. If you have a fairly well insulated room small building, controlling temps and humidity is fairly easy to accomplish with a cheap window A/C unit or space heater hooked up to a temperature switch. The light cycle is also easy to control with a timer.

I don't know, I was pretty excited about this at first, but there are still too many questions. Like someone mentioned earlier it does seem energy consumption could be an issue. I had thought at first that this was a simple system that could be scaled down for personal use, but the more I look into it the less likely that seems. It's basically just a different way to go about the whole corporate mass farming thing.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 08:27 PM
link   
Its really only the mechanization of tray movement and the old sea of green method thats been used since the late 70s. everyone in horticulture is biting the bullet on led lights right now. the big difference is that now instead of red and blue they are customizing the spectrum to the plant.

These folks have found a way to give the correct spectrums, through custom white led lights.

designcrave.com...



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 08:30 PM
link   
reply to post by speculativeoptimist
 


Amazing. To think how far urban or indoor farming has come in such a short time. Relatively cheap technology and plans such as these are the future of our species. Responsible farming while reducing waste water and run-off. Stories and research like this are a nice, upbeat change of pace from the usual doom and gloom.

I understand the hesitation of those imagining a mass-corporation-fed future, but seeing the famine that exists globally, I think you would be hard-pressed to ignore the obvious benefits. Imagine one 30 story building capable of feeding the inhabitants of a whole town or city. The consumer cost would go down. It would be quite easy to legislate a freedom of farming act which relegates powers to each individual state, city or county to grow their own food. Imagine it as a local government/citizen co-op, in which tax money is used to run the facility with costs greatly reduced, if not negligible at the consumer level. It IS a possibility and the minute we give up hope of a morally-governed free-market is the minute the greedy bastards have won.
edit on 14-8-2011 by ateuprto because: (no reason given)
edit on 14-8-2011 by ateuprto because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 08:31 PM
link   

Originally posted by HenryTwoTimes
I got some friends in California, I wonder if this would work on what they grow.


After 5 years of upper level botany classes I remembered being shocked after graduating university and casually picking up a High Times magazine in 1985. Their techniques were far more advanced than anything I was taught.

You can be certain these techniques will be put to use by your friends very soon if they are not already doing so. As far as the rest of us are concerned, this new science will have great implications on natural medicines and other complex compounds derived from plants.

The myths of food shortages are perpetuated by the Monsantos and Cargills of the world. We are truly on the verge of a new golden age of humanity.

Thanks so much for your post.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 08:41 PM
link   
Energy cost, sun is free.
You can have also great yield in normal greenhouse.
Dutch have abundant money for farming from European CAP, so they can do engage in some fancy, no gain farming. They have horrible climate to cultivate many plants. Europe and Dutches, instead of buying food from Africa, and growing plants which whole maintenance is profitable in moderate climate, they insist on growing everything in Europe under greenhouses with quartz lamps.
In few words: Cultivate plants which growing is profitable in moderate climate, and buy those that aren't!
Subsidizing nonprofitable agriculture by Europe is not an answer, it develop food shortage in Africa.
You can't compete with companies which get money from government just that they are producing food.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 08:42 PM
link   
in combination with pig-city...
inhabitat.com...

"we cannot feed the world in 2050"...i dont think so





new topics

top topics



 
132
<< 1    3  4  5 >>

log in

join