Plants don’t like nature! Therefore, we do not copy nature in our indoor farms. Instead, we carefully listen to the needs of plants; applying what they like and avoiding what is bothering them. We create the climate where plants can relax, and, as a result, flourish. The main buttons in order to create heaven on earth for plants are: temperature, light and evaporation. We designed a unique combination of hard and software – a true symbiotic system – where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Our laminar airflow system We have become experts in plenum- and laminar-airflow-technology for indoor farms. We applied decades of experience and know how in order to develop a system that allows a larger growing area to be controlled with a single HVAC installation. That’s why the only fans you will find in our growing space are thousands of happy plants, no fans as in ‘ventilators’. Also no air-socks or stuff like that. Just an ‘open’ space with a plenum-wall-with-over-pressure at one side and a plenum-wall-with-under-pressure at the opposite side; fit for placing gutters or multiple layers with movable tables. We apply a set-up with modules up to 500 m2 – 50 meters long and 10 meters wide – enabling us to build smaller farms, but also to create large farms with open growing areas of for instance 5,000 m2 per layer. Increasing the growing area that is connected to the typical technical HVAC equipment has decreased the capex of our indoor farms with over 30% compared to smaller sized modules. A technical solution that regularly changes the flow direction of the air makes it possible to double the length of a module. A gentle breeze, flowing from one side to the other side over a distance of for instance 50 meters, takes care of a very equal climate regarding temperature and crop-evaporation. The stomata are wide open, ready to absorb the CO2 that is always being supplied by the constant airflow.
Our LED system Our – per 2 light-fixtures – dimmable LED system has been designed by the world market leader in highly efficient LED-flood-lighting for sports fields, who happens to be based in Eindhoven too. Already years ago we have asked them to apply their expertise to create a robust and low maintenance LED system for indoor farms, existing of a set of exchangeable components. For instance, after the LEDs have reached their lifespan, they can be replaced; something that can’t be done in fixtures where the LEDs are potted. Regarding the actual Light Emitting Diodes: together with our supplier of the LED-system, we regularly explore the market, looking for the manufacturer that offers the best value for money today. By using a laminar airflow system, we control the desired level of evaporation of the crop independently from the energy-output of the LED-system. Therefore we do not need to use white and green LED-light, that we consider as a waste of costly energy since they are expensive, less energy efficient and they contribute less to the process of photosynthesis. Therefore, we mainly use red and blue LEDs. Doing it our way results in higher yields and better quality at lower costs.
Our irrigation and fertigation system We supply small and large scale precision solutions for irrigation and fertigation. Since the size of indoor farms can be much smaller than a traditional greenhouse, much of the greenhouse dosing equipment is inaccurate. Therefore we designed a water and fertilizer dosing system with the accuracy of medical equipment, and with full remote control.
Our suppliers of the growing systems We work together with the best Dutch companies that supply growing systems. We use gutters for growing tomatoes and cucumbers on the high wire, and we use movable eb-flood or nft-tables for growing smaller leafy crops and herbs. Together, we design and deliver tailor made growing systems up to the desired level of logistical automation and robotization. Both our suppliers and we have a long track record and decades of international experience in this field. We are able to select the system that fits best for your specific purposes.
Our software Our software is developed in house, taking full advantage of some keen engineering partners in the Brainport region of Eindhoven. The software runs on a local server that sends the setpoints according to the growing-scripts to the sub-controls of HVAC, LED and Irrigation & Fertigation. Over the internet we have access to the local server that operates the farm.
Our indoor farms can be built in an existing or in a new building or warehouse. We prefer a box-in-a-box, where the temperature in the building can be controlled between 15 and 25°C , in order to be able to realize a very stable climate inside the inner box; the actual indoor farm. Interesting to know: although our system is unique, it consists of technical parts that are available all over the world; easy to install and to maintain by a qualified local installation company.