Intelligent control systems for greenhouse cultivation with high proportion of local renewable energy2023-11-10
Karlstad University conducts research and development of intelligent control systems for greenhouse lighting system. In the greenhouse on campus, researchers have grown tomatoes using renewable energy from solar cells. There is also a battery energy storage in place in case there is a surplus of renewable solar energy generated. The results so far were presented at a recent workshop.
- The aim of our workshop was to present the results to participants from the energy, environment and lighting sectors, says Jorge Solis, associate Professor in Electrical Engineering. We invited companies, municipalities, economic associations as well the Swedish Energy Agency.
During the workshop, we presented an overall description of the research project, the selected system components and the technical solutions as well as a summary of the research findings. There has been a great interest in the project so far, including from the media and we have had several study visits. The Japanese ambassador in Sweden has visited the university and there have also been student exchanges with Japanese universities.
The project has three focus areas to make greenhouse lighting more energy efficient:
- Developing intelligent control systems to expand the use of local renewable energy with battery energy storage.
- Analysing the effect of heat in lighting fixtures that affects the quality of the lights and energy efficiency.
- Analysing how different lights affect the photosynthesis, growth and fruit quality and at the same time get an estimate of energy savings through financial analyses.
- The feedback we got from the workshop participants was positive and showed that there is an interest in collaboration with the energy, food, environment and lighting sectors, says Jorge Solis. From a municipal perspective, there is a lot in our ongoing research project that may be of interest for technical planning, system integration processes and optimisation of existing greenhouse facilities. From a regional perspective, there are opportunities for collaboration between academia and the industry with a focus on the energy, food and lighting sectors based on the environmental conditions in the Nordic countries. From an international perspective, there are ongoing discussions about the possibility of expanding our research collaboration with other stakeholders in the Nordic countries, as well as Japan. It is very exciting that several industry stakeholders, including companies, municipalities and economic associations as well as the Swedish Energy Agency, have shown such great interest in the project. It is also valuable to make new contacts with potential partners in the future.