LEICESTER, England, June 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The vertical farming market has grown exponentially in recent years, and while the industry is proving increasingly profitable, practicing vertical farming is not without its challenges.
Here, Ian Hart, Director of Business Development at adi projectsa division of multidisciplinary engineering firm adi Group, provides expert advice on the engineering solutions companies need to adopt to succeed.
Above all, vertical agricultural facilities must maintain a delicate indoor environment that satisfies particular conditions. This mainly involves the presence of purified air which allows the crops to grow without being contaminated by parasites, spores and yeasts.
“The air must first be treated to remove contaminants in the air stream, with the added challenge that the air itself will become humid due to evaporation of water from plants – and this air can’t just be let out a window if you need to avoid contamination,” says Ian.
To avoid the waste and extra cost of cleaning the air to such a high level more times than strictly necessary, companies must rely on systems that can exploit air dew points and allow the water to condense again.
“It’s about tackling specific challenges and designing bespoke solutions that can keep the environment of these facilities as clean as possible,” continues Ian.
Being aware from the start will ensure continuity throughout, eliminating risks during the planning and construction stages and throughout the life cycle of the facility.
Although the majority of vertical farming facilities are dedicated to the cultivation of food crops, being able to grow products of a consistently high standard is particularly important in the context of medicinal plants such as cannabis.
Failure to control air circulation can lead to a buildup of harmful contaminants which, if left unchecked, will inevitably damage crops. This is where the aforementioned design factors become even more relevant, as even minor miscalculations can cause producers to fail to meet quality standards and be unable to sell their product.
Ultimately, vertical farming offers a number of real opportunities to help brands build a strong reputation as innovators and create circular economies. However, businesses have more to learn.
adi Group develops tailor-made solutions integrating quality at all levels. For more information on vertical farming, contact adi today.