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One of the major challenges of the 21st century is the mitigation of global climate change, which is mainly caused by greenhouse gas emissions. One contribution to this could be made by advanced and intelligently controlled greenhouse systems. Therefore, the main objective of the forthcoming project, with four project partners, is to develop and optimize innovative technical procedures for the greenhouse system as a whole. This will be done not only to achieve a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but also to reduce the consumption of freshwater and fertilizer recourses. This goal is in the context with the optimization of microclimatic conditions, such as temperature, relative humidity, light intensity and quality as well as CO2 concentration, in the closed plant production system to ensure the high-quality food supply to the population regardless of the climatic changes. The research is especially focussed on the finding of an optimal cooling process, the development of new outdoor climate-adapted CO2, light and nutrient solution control strategies, as well as new substrates and substrate-less culture systems for closed greenhouse system, taking into account the reduction of abiotic stress factors in times of increasing variability of climatic conditions. Within the frame of investigations on the changes of the phenotype caused by the technical procedures, online measured phytosignals (photosynthesis, transpiration, leaf temperature, stomata conductance, chlorophyll fluorescence etc.) and laboratory analyses are parts of this project to detect changes in the primary and secondary metabolism of plants and associated changes in product quality and quantity.
Project duration: 1. September 2018 – 31. August 2021
Funding code: 28-1-B2.035-16
Project coordinator: Dr. Dennis Dannehl
Project partner: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, RAM GmbH Mess- und Regeltechnik, DH Licht GmbH, Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH
The project is supported by funds of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture(BMEL) based on a decision of the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany via the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) under the innovation support programme.
Tested in experimental scale, an innovative system for electrolytic water disinfection in greenhouses (SeWiG) was very efficient. With scaling up this system for industrial greenhouses, the new technology will be tested, validated and optimized under practical conditions. This is necessary for a successful launch to the sector of plant production under glass.
The special feature of the new system for electrolytic water disinfection is the functional superiority over common methods like filtration, ultraviolet irradiation, heating, ozonation or chlorine dioxide. Worth highlighting is its high effectiveness against plant viruses and the reduced risk for users, plants and the environment.
Currently, about 30% of Germany’s annual electricity is generated from renewable sources like wind and the sun. Until 2030, the German government wants to increase this proportion to 50%. Other EU nations have similar plans. Predictive models indicate that this aim will lead to an increase in volatility of the energy supply and will affect electricity pricing. Thus, a temporary oversupply of renewable energy (e.g. at strong wind conditions) can lead to a low price of electricity at the energy exchange market. Otherwise, the frequency of annual hours with high pricing will be increased in case of insufficient solar radiation or wind speed. Therefore, flexible capacities are required for energy storage as well as consumption. Related to the power supply of commercial greenhouses, two approaches were considered at Humboldt University:
- Irrigation water resources could be used as large energy storages for greenhouse air-conditioning in order to obtain the benefits from fluctuations of electricity pricing
- The energy for greenhouse air-conditioning will be increasingly used when electricity is cheap
The feasibility study named ELGEVOS started in 2015 and is supported by funds of the German Government’s Special Purpose Fund held at Rentenbank.