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

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posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:31 PM
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reply to post by paddz420
 

You might wanna edit that first sentence, you know how the TC's are about that.



A better option would be to discourage people to have so many children so we can keep living off the land.

I wish, but that part of human nature has yet to evolve in that area it seems. Can't ever expect people not to shag, and hence all the "whoops" children. That's how I came into the world, a 'whoops' gift, my mama tells me.

edit on 14-8-2011 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by RevelationGeneration
 



LED's are not the best lights for yield's

True, per plant, but in a sea of green, where one could have 9-16 plants per sq foot, the overall yield of smaller fruits and vegetables would be good me thinks.

edit on 14-8-2011 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:39 PM
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posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:40 PM
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This is an absolute breakthrough. So now with this, there's one less thing the climate change will affect.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:49 PM
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This is Awesome, One of the most positive and uplifting threads that I've read in a long time.

Like another member said, If you add Solar Power for this, then it has huge potential.


Thanks Spec.




Peace



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:57 PM
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Originally posted by KamiKazeKenji
This is an absolute breakthrough. So now with this, there's one less thing the climate change will affect.


Climate change? You know the global temperatures haven't risen since like 1998...



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 11:05 PM
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Originally posted by FutureThinker
This is Awesome, One of the most positive and uplifting threads that I've read in a long time.

Like another member said, If you add Solar Power for this, then it has huge potential.


Thanks Spec.




Peace
If you convert sunlight to electricity to power the LEDs, you end up with less growing power than if you just fed the sunlight directly to the plants. Where's the advantage in using a square kilometer of solar panels to power half a square kilometer of hydroponic gardens? And that being generous on the efficiency; solar panels and LEDs are not yet that efficient.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 11:06 PM
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reply to post by HenryTwoTimes
 

led's work quite well for that kinda thing i got a few frends in the triangle that use led's to supplement there indoor gardens



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 11:13 PM
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reply to post by RevelationGeneration
 


waaaa you beat me to the punch!

there is no evidence of climate chage, the climate scinentists are frantically trying to come up with ways to explain this including blaming...wait for it... chinese coal power plants..hah can you beleive it? they are saying the these coal power plants are polluting the atmosphere and directing heat away from earth (or something like that)

anyway back on topic, this is fantastic. I remember reading thet only a small % of sunlight is absorbed by plants and is hence why their leaves are usually green (it makes it easier to caputure the usable %). I often wondered why plants were often green (there are reasons for everything) and love finding out the answer.

would like to see development of LED that contain only the usable part of the light spectrum then perhaps wouldnt need colored LED's but a single even more efficient LED using even less power. This kind or technology can also be used in space programs and now anyone can start their own farm without the huge amount of land usually required.

I wonder if any of the huge global corporations will buy this tehcnology up like they did the electric car and deny the world its benefits just to keep them in profit.



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 11:49 PM
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like imagine this, a plant grows right, it turns sunlight and co2 into food, the plant dies and gets crushed under tons of sediment. millions of years later it gets dug up (costs energy) and refined(costs energy) and finally burned to heat water, the hot water vapor spins a turbine (friction loss, waste heat) driving a generator (friction loss, waste heat) and that makes the electricity to drive the leds.(waste heat)

and the plants turn a fraction of the light from the leds into food, and the rest is absorbed and retransmitted as good old waste heat.

so when you get right down to it, farming is the most efficient means of harnessing solar energy, storing it as food. thats why theres so much research being invested into renewable fuels lately, its also just another way of collecting solar energy, converting it into a form that we can store and use easily, biofuels ethanol etc.

the whole idea of this thing, just seems backwards, maybe if they also invented a 90% efficiency solar panel that converted everything from infrared to ultraviolet to electricity, and then they powered the very narrow band leds with that electricity then it could be a net win. but otherwise its just a bunch of lossy energy transformations.

edit on 14-8-2011 by snarfbot because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-8-2011 by snarfbot because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 11:59 PM
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Originally posted by HenryTwoTimes
I got some friends in California, I wonder if this would work on what they grow.


I'm off to ebay to order some LED's maybe it'd work with what I grow
lolol



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 12:07 AM
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I've done side by side flood table tests. Dualing Hps and led lights. Leds don't even come close per yield, to Hps. But it is true that leds put off less heat and use less electricity. If i had to choose, id take my 1000 watt Hps lamps any day.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 12:07 AM
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This sounds like a great new method but I hope it not only leads to better yields for less space and water but actually healthier foods. Recent studies indicate that current standard grown crop's nutritional yields have dropped significantly, apparently showing that fertilizer is not as good as good topsoils. Great looking plants don't necessarily mean great nutrition. And actually being able to clean all pesticides off fruits and veggies, with all their crooks and crannies is highly unlikely without a lot more intensive cleaning than most people realistically can achieve. Very interesting post!



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 12:12 AM
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reply to post by speculativeoptimist
 



Originally posted by Char-Lee

Originally posted by Berenai
So now we can put these on spaceships and have a food supply for long journeys to Mars or....

Very cool!

We can use them in our ELE bunkers...what they were made for maybe.


Cree is a world leader in LED tech and they have had DoD funding
Gotta keep people healthy in deep underground bases somehow! Mostly just vitamin d, certain leds can produce the requried wavelengths.


Disclaimer; I have a commercial interest in LED lighting technology. I can't go terrifically in depth with some scientific aspects or technical design for this reason.


The reason leds are beginning to take over the world of lighting and open new doors in farming;

Lumens are a photopic measurement for human eyes, with maximum sensitiviy in lime green and minimums at UV(deep blue) and iR (Deep red). Plants don't see in lumens they see photosynthetic efficiency - number of photons of a given wavelength range (colour to us) and ease of absorbtion. Leds can target peak photosynthetic efficiencies, with much more usable energy than any other technology for the same power input. Plants can adapt for other wavelengths outside of these peaks, however the peaks are where the efficiency is.

One of the most important factors is that the spectrum of light can be manipulated to control many factors of plants from algae to coral to food crops, in turn water transpiration in land based crops and growth type, speed and other characteristics. Much of the 1000w/m2 the sun puts out is reflected as infrared energy off the plants around you, so the actual required density for photosynthesis is far less. This is also why infrared tuned solar panels are more efficient in general.
And direct sunlight may be more efficient in some cases, but as a single point source it looses out in dense plots or any vertical farming.

Most high temperature, high end light bulb tech is a large single point source, without reflectors (360 degree emission) they are pretty much the same lumen efficiency as top end leds under typical working loads. However traditional tech has less micromole/W efficiency, due to spectrum, plus added effects of heat but will also begin to degrade in a few thousand hours. Metal halides (amber) used in streetlights are 20,000 hours or more, with poor light quality but excellent efficiency and longeivity. Yellow is also very close to the green peak sensitivity for human eyes.

LED has the advantage of being smaller, cooler, less intense and most importantly easily arrayed or spread out, so maximum surface area can be covered and thus a higher average level of brightness, instead of just in one direction. NASA showed this alone can gain 25% food yield with the same amount of light being used! Just like many streetlamps along a road vs one huge one. The setup you see in the photos of the test facility is far from optimal at the distances the LEDs are being used, this is not where LEDs 'shine' the best.

Someone stated the heat generated by a vertical farm would be wasted - heat from leds can be used to preheat water or run any nearly heating system in the building. This is near 100% efficient. Incandescent lightbulbs in cold climates are also near 100% efficient because of this! They heat your room. Spend more $ on heating + leds or spend on incandescent light and less heating.. It's not always just about light output, it's about application.

A properly designed LED system could last anywhere past 100-200k hours. At 8 hours a day 7 days a week, that's a light bulb change in 31 years @ 100k hours. Thing is you probably wouldn't have to change it, because the drop would be approx 5-10% in measured brighness, which is barely visible... see where this is going? Infact it's more likely the LEDs power supply will fail than the LED.

The reason LEDs aren't taking over;
Beancounters plus chinese mass manufacturing has given leds a bad name. Most consumer led tech is poorly made and 5+ years behind the curve because people don't want to pay for 'just a light'. Cheap christmas lights, overheating fixtures and blueish white, cheap torches are hardly a good poster child. If you want it done properly, then get someone who knows what they're doing to design it for you. Don't expect to pay peanuts for it either; cutting edge technology plususually a time consuming build - one that could likely outlive you.

With tomatos at $15/kg here, it's worth investing in LEDs for winter. Higher yeild, upside down plants for no damage with large fruit, nearly no pests and any excess light can illuminate my living room. Seasonal stuff all year round. Plus then you know what's really in them, limiting radiation exposure from rainfall, which is an issue with external crops currently.

LEDs will probably save the human race in the future. Just sayin'..
edit on 15/8/11 by GhostR1der because: edit for italics and extra response/typos/format



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 12:23 AM
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reply to post by GhostR1der
 

Well said GhostR1der, thanks for the perspective, and your view supports the thread subject, in how this will become revolutionary in it's usage and efficiency, as well as allow continued farming throughout the year, not just seasonally. Also this could be used in less hospitable areas as well.

People do not seem to realize, in terms of yield per sq foot, that more plants, even though smaller, produce more yield, as far as indoor cultivation goes. You realize this I'm sure. Let's say a single large(for indoors) pepper plant that takes up 16 sg ft(4x4) and puts out a pound of peppers, if you had 9 plants per sq ft, in slim and tall 1-2 gallon containers, that produced a quarter ounce of peppers for each plant, that gives you 2.25 oz per sq foot, and for 16 sq ft you get 2.5 pounds
Plus the sytem described in the thread uses 10% water of that required for traditional methods,and that water is recycled. Reduced electrical usage and heat emissions, as well as minimal use of soil, if any, all make this idea appealing in practical applications.

Again thank you for the information and your contribution


spec
edit on 15-8-2011 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 12:34 AM
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Originally posted by operation mindcrime
reply to post by James1982
 



You could probably grow indoors for two people's lifetimes with the same LEDs before they burn out.


Standard lifespan is 50.000 hours.


Peace
edit on 14-8-2011 by operation mindcrime because: (no reason given)


So you have to replace them 12 or 13 times in an average lifetime of 72 years That's every 6 years. That's providing they are on 24/7 Still not bad...
edit on 15-8-2011 by hawkiye because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 12:47 AM
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This will help grow in arid environments so that's a plus, as is reduction of agricultural runoff. However, it does little (or nothing) to reduce the fossil fuel inputs that are fueling the world's crops & your dinner plates. Check a graph of world population vs fossil fuel inputs for crops. Then have a small revelation about what happens when fossil fuels run low.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 01:47 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 02:00 AM
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Guys, if you don't want this thread shut down by a mod I would suggest you keep the Marijuana references to a minimum - I'm not being an ass or anti-drugs or anything it's just that I've been down this road before and seen many a thread shut down because of over-exuberance in the discussion of that particular topic.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 02:21 AM
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reply to post by ArMaP
 


I think the cost of diesel fuel would surprise you when it comes to farming.
The heavey equioment is very expensive as well as requiring maintenance etc.
The small prive one would pay for electricity, even with the accessories running would not come close to ordinary farm costs and it would be far greener than farming .....less air pollution pesticides etc etc.



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