Tungsram and GreeenTech Join Forces to Help Set up Urban Farms
Bringing food closer to consumers is no longer an option but rather a necessity given the strain traditional agriculture and transportation place on the environment. Czech grow tech company GreeenTech teamed up with Hungary’s Tungsram to provide vertical farming solutions that pave the way for sustainable crop production.
The United Nations predicts that 68% of the world population will live in urban areas by 2050. This has far-reaching consequences for both agriculture and the environment as food typically travels thousands of kilometers before reaching consumers in urban areas. As city dwellers become increasingly conscious of the environmental impacts of food production and transportation, urban agriculture is emerging as a solution to food security and environmental protection. Bringing sustainable food production closer to cities is no longer optional but a must if we want to reverse climate change.
Prague-based GreeenTech was born out of this realization. The company specializes in the research and development of hydroponic technologies to be used in container farms and vertical farms set up in buildings. Established in 2000, the business aims to enable people to grow agricultural crops anytime and anywhere in the world. They are involved in developing innovative solutions for the local production of leafy vegetables, herbs and small fruits through their own hydroponic cultivation technology complete with an IOT control system created in cooperation with Siemens. The uniqueness of the solution provided by GreeenTech lies in the development of a tailor-made hydroponic farming technology.
Finding the perfect lighting solution
Hydroponic systems are soil-less, water-based farming processes. The technology is based on growing plants in a controlled environment where crops are fed nutrient-rich water. Crop cultivation takes place in an enclosed growing space, where sensors control conditions such as humidity, temperature or light cycle. The result is quality crops that have not been subjected to treatment with pesticides and herbicides and the farm uses about 90% less water than conventional agriculture.
Given that crops are not exposed to natural light, selecting the right lighting solution in these farms is of utmost importance. GreeenTech’s quest for the best lighting solution provider led them to Tungsram, whose variable spectrum LED luminaries proved to be the perfect match as the light sources have been designed and created only for the purposes of a growing container. “We were searching for a lighting solution and we realized that Tungsram’s luminaries and the automation solutions provided by them are ideal for our needs because they are well suited for research purpose. Using variable spectrum luminaries allows us to grow a wide range of plants. In addition, customers have a high degree of flexibility in deciding what kind of plants they want to grow or in switching from one crop to the other,” said Karolína Pumprová, CGO at GreeenTech.
The four-channel Tungsram LED lights offer the highest performance in their category and are extremely easy to install. The luminaries are controlled remotely and allow users to adjust the color spectrum and light intensity independently for each growing rack, which is a game-changer for large-scale urban farms.
In addition to the lights, Tungsram also provided a tailor-made lighting design with the help of the company’s engineers and designers. Variable spectrum luminaries are a powerful tool for growers in terms of adopting a “dynamic light recipe approach,” which is a rather unique offering in the market.
“Another factor that weighed heavily in favor of Tunsgram was the fact that the lighting solution developed together with them was compatible with the software and system we already had in place,” said Milan Souček, CTO at GreeenTech.
GreeenTech will use the Tungsram luminaries at the expo in Dubai, which will run from September through March. The cultivation container will be set up in a restaurant and the plants will be used in the restaurant. As part of a cooperation with the Technical University in Prague, Tungsram lights will be installed at small hydroponic farm set up by GreeenTech where student will be conducting research and testing.