Vera® - Vertical Farming
Netled has been developing Vera® – a unique closed vertical farming solution for several years in co-operation with growers and technology partners. A growing facility in Finland has offered a fertile testing ground for years. Today Vera® is the most advanced vertical farming system in the world. The technology has already been delivered to multiple producers for commercial use. The results speak for themselves: our Vera®-system produces 2,5 times bigger crop production size with 60% less energy consumption and 95% less fresh water consumption compared to traditional cultivation. If the whole land area is considered, the yield is 10-fold. In addition, 100% of the nutrients are used in cultivation and not led back to the nature. Vera®-technologies have several granted and pending patents.
With Vera®, you are in absolute control of air humidity and heat energy. This enables the recovery of a very large percentage of energy already used in cultivation. Thus the same energy used to grow, for example, salads can be used fully elsewhere, and technically zero energy is required to grow the plants. Approximately 2/3 energy is saved.
Saves fresh water
Only a small fraction of irrigation water is bound to the leafy green itself. Normally in traditional cultivation, a major part vaporizes into the air and is finally ventilated outside. In Vera® all vaporized humidity is caught into water circulation to be reused in irrigation.
Better look and taste - better crop
Vera® improves quality and production speed, as well as productivity. It is especially suited for growing salads, herbs and similar plants, seedlings, and to some extent also for berries. For example, with specific salad varieties, the speed growth is over 40% faster compared to traditional cultivation.
Effortless turn-key solution
As a turn-key solution, Vera® offers an easy solution for every grower. Netled acts as a partner through the whole project, from the initial design to the installation and documentation, as well as further maintenance and data analysis.
Save money and time
Vera® has very low maintenance costs. In addition, Vera® is well suited for commercial production. Since the cultivation process is automated, it offers a possibility to lower unit costs in production.
Automated help for optimal performance
Automation steers the climate and keeps the growing environment always optimal. Vera® includes an adaptive and flexible way to steer and control the system.
Answer to challenges of climate change and increasing pollution
Climate change sets challenges to open field cultivation and greenhouses of today. As a closed farming system, Vera® is protected from extreme weather conditions and lack of fresh water resources. This is because the growing conditions are created artificially. Vera® makes cultivation possible in areas where production of traditional vegetables is impossible and the fresh water resources are limited. The system also enables the sustainable and local production of clean vegetables.
Vera® is a world leader in vertical farming technology
Vera® has a unique, patent pending LED lighting system, which produces optimal light for plants from above and below. The amount and distribution of light is always designed according to the needs of specific plants.
Vera® can be combined to heat recovery systems. Integrated lighting, LED cooling and recovered heat together form a highly energy efficient system. Automation steers the climate and keeps the growing environment always optimal. Special optical design enables an even distribution of light to the plants. Vera® makes the controlling of microclimate easy.
Efficient usage of cultivation area
In Vera®, there are over 40% more plants in the growing area and even 8 times more in the floor area than in similar open field or traditional greenhouse cultivation. In Vera® we use FIFO, ie. first in, first out flow through growing. In Vera® the crop density is optimized and changed along the crop cycle.
Vera® has a servo operated gutter movement system, which is already commonly used in traditonal greenhouses. The structure is made of high strength aluminium body, and the design is flexible and modular. The system can be built with easy instructions and factory assembled construction modules. Long lasting materials ensure longer lifecycle.
The modern processing of Vera® includes, for example, seeding, transplanting and harvesting of the plants.
The irrigation system includes all water and fertilizer handling equipment as well as fully automated steering. In Vera® we use NFT, ie. Nutrient Film Technique as a growing system. This technique is a developed version of the traditional hydroponic cultivation. Modular design enables diversity of plants in the same growing facility and also plant specific recipes. Nutrients and CO2 are fed constantly to the system, but not led back into the nature.
The automation of Vera® serves as the core of managing the whole vertical farming system. The system is reliable and firewall protected. All detective sensors feed the information of the operation, and automation manages the functions between the pre-set values. The smart IoT-based automation system has a very intuitive user interface (Vera® OS) with an easy-to-use touch screen. The system collects data, which can be analyzed and used to create your own growing recipes.
Virtual Power Plant, VPP
The fully digital, adjustable lighting system allows the electric company to reserve the LED luminaire power and stabilize the grid. This is also an asset to the electricity companies, who are often willing to pay for this feature. Stabilization can be compensated by dimming the light to reduce the load and increasing the light during lighting hours.
I´ve been looking for ways to increase the efficiency of my growing process. These Finnish technologies are so intelligent and advanced, that other multilayer techniques I´ve seen are left far behind. The brilliance of this concept lies in full control of heat energy and recovery. With this technology, in addition to space efficient enhancement of growing surface, I´m also saving in heating expenses of my traditional greenhouse area.
– Robert Jordas, owner of Robbes Lilla Trädgård
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