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  • sun powered vertical farming
  • sun powered vertical farming

EcoY – a high-tech vertical farm based on CEA

The EcoY high-tech vertical farm involves a new high-yield cultivation method that combines innovation, sustainability and the efficient use of resources. It is based on the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) approach. The Dürr development differs from previous vertical farming concepts because of its use of sunlight, glass and patented plant tubes.

The growing world population, more extreme weather conditions as a result of climate change, and the related loss of agricultural land present new challenges for food supplies and food production. Together with Clean Air Nurseries Agri Global (CAN-Agri) , Dürr has developed the innovative turn-key controlled environment farming solution known as EcoY. This smart farming system is based on sustainable agricultural methods and the cultivation of salad crops. It keeps production costs low and makes use of the latest technologies. Sustainable products and approaches form an important part of the Dürr corporate strategy. This means that the development of EcoY did not represent a significant change of direction for Dürr, as it could contribute its expertise in plant engineering and, in particular, in the challenging field of ventilation and air conditioning systems for paint shops in the automotive industry. Dürr’s partner CAN-Agri brought its extensive experience of agriculture and its innovative cultivation techniques to the project.

The approach: Controlled environment agriculture

This refers to modifications made to the natural environment with the aim of increasing yields or extending growing periods. CEA systems are generally housed in enclosed buildings such as greenhouses or factories with no daylight, where environmental factors such as the air supply, temperature, light, water, moisture, carbon dioxide and plant nutrition can be controlled. In most vertical farming systems, the plants are cultivated on multi-layer shelves.

EcoY – vertical agriculture on a new level

All the factors relating to the growth of the plants, such as light, moisture, temperature and CO2, are controlled and regulated digitally by the smart farming greenhouse system. This corresponds to the technology-based concept of CEA. Among the many innovative solutions that make up the EcoY concept is a patented system of plant tubes. These Grow Tubes are based on the idea of rotating existing horizontally stacked layers of plants through 90 degrees and organizing them vertically in a tube one above another. The Grow Tubes are arranged in rows in a greenhouse so that the sunlight can reach all the plants. Water enriched with nutrients flows through the tubes to ensure optimum plant growth. In order to maintain a constant temperature in the greenhouse, the temperature of the nutrient water is adjusted to create a microclimate that influences the growth environment. This microclimate is monitored and minor adjustments are made automatically with the help of sensors and the ventilation and watering systems to create ideal growing conditions. The circular system uses up to 90 percent less water than conventional cultivation methods. This keeps the running costs low, because the high-quality fertilizer in the water remains in the cycle. The ventilation concept also reduces resource use by the intelligent management of the temperature and moisture content of the air and even distribution of the air throughout the greenhouse.




Benefits of the new cultivation method

The EcoY smart farming concept provides a reliable supply of fresh foods, in particular salad crops that cannot be frozen. Dürr’s cultivation solution therefore has advantages for people who live in large cities where land is in short supply. In the future, it will allow salads to be grown in large quantities near to consumers. This will keep the transport routes short and ensure that the products remain fresh. The crops are protected from exposure to extreme weather conditions and pollution. EcoY can also be used in regions where conventional agricultural cultivation is not possible, such as deserts or very cold areas. This new type of smart farming generally produces higher yields in relation to the land area. It also reduces water and energy consumption because of the use of intelligent systems and the controlled environmental conditions.

Our services

  • Selection of the location (consulting) 
  • Planning and engineering 
  • Established project management teams 
  • Construction phase 
  • Process installation 
  • Training and servicing 
  • Digitalization