Living LabAlmería AgroEcology
How the farm is managedExperimental farm
TechnologyThe core of the Agroconnect infrastructure is a 1,900 m2 experimental greenhouse located at the IFAPA station next to the University of Almeria (Almeria, Spain). The greenhouse is divided into two areas of equal size and equipped with a ventilation system consisting of thirteen motors, each with a 90W power output, one for each of the top and side windows. For heating and cooling, the experimental greenhouse is equipped with six 26.1 kW thermal power aerotherms (1990 m3/h) connected to a thermal air-conditioning system consisting of a 60 kW reversible heat pump (heat and cold) with a COP of 4, a 160 kW biomass boiler, a 4000 liter cold-heat tank, and a 30-panel solar thermal generation system. The experimental greenhouse also has a CO2 injection system with a distribution drip system using emitters every 0.25 m that are installed in PVC pipes. The CO2 system is composed of two different units: a liquid CO2 system and a patented CO2 storage system from the combustion gases. The experimental greenhouse is also equipped with a humidification system using 125 nebulizers located every 1.6 m over the entire surface of the greenhouse. This system is equipped with a 7.5 CV air compressor and a 1.5 kW electric pump. Likewise, it has a LED lighting system consisting of four lamps, 300W each, and a 11.2kW dehumidification machine with a 1000 l day-1 capacity. To meet the water and nutrient demands, the greenhouse has a fertigation system, comprised of drippers located every 0.25 m, each consuming 3 l h-1.Furthermore, two desalination systems are available to meet the water demand. The first is a reverse-osmosis (RO) unit with a 3 kWh/m3 consumption, which is fed directly from a 100 m3 tank of seawater, and can generate 11 m3 of osmotized water per day. The osmotized water is stored in a 100 m3 tank. Additionally, the RO unit generates 22 m3/h of brine which is stored in a 50 m3 tank and used to feed the distillation system. This is a membrane-distillation (MD) unit capable of generating 6 m3/day of distilled water. The MD unit requires a continuous heat and cooling source for its correct operation. To ensure the facility’s electrical supply, there is a photovoltaic generation system consisting of two 18-module photovoltaic panel units with an electricity generation capacity of 16.2 kW, along with two hybrid inverters and batteries with a capacity to store 44.2 kWh. In order to monitor the main greenhouse, there are six indoor stations measuring the main climate, soil and irrigation variables, two outdoor stations that measure the external variables.