Solar Energy Management System Lets You Grow Tomatoes in the Deep of Winter
It is now possible to have locally grown tomatoes in northern Nevada — in January. This has been proven by the partnership of SunScience Corporation (SSC) and the DoubleTree Ranch (DTR) research facility in Lovelock, NV. Together they launched a Controlled-Environment Agriculture (CEA) project using SSC’s Energy Management System (EMS) and DTR’s greenhouse farming operations. With first plantings in early October 2011, two goals were identified:
– to unveil and test SSC’s EMS system and
– to dramatically extend the growing season for year around planting.
When presented with the first ripe tomato January 29, U.S. Congressman Mark Amodei said, “It’s great to see SunScience bring a combination of technology, renewable resources and increased agriculture production to Nevada, and across the country.”
SSC is a Reno-based energy solutions company with origins in systems integration and computer science. EMS is a hybrid solar energy system that produces heat (thermal energy) or electricity (concentrated photovoltaic), on a compact footprint. Systems integration architecture enables additional energy sources such as batteries, wind turbines or generators, plus sensor networks that measure environmental data. What’s most unique is SSC’s proprietary software (Data Communications System) that monitors — and controls — critical elements of energy output, storage and environmental metrics, for total systems management. SSC’s application of EMS to achieve controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) for greenhouses was a success, resulting in red tomatoes in January.
Here’s a video from the project launch in October.
Benefits greenhouse farmers can now expect by adapting the SunScience EMS system include:
– up to two additional harvests, with corresponding increase in farm revenue,
– control over greenhouse climate during winter, mitigating frost damage,
– conservation of water usage,
– optimizing soil conditions for temperature, humidity, Ph and other factors,
– ability to grow and sell vegetables off-season — locally,
– in-market proof that CEA greenhouse farming is achievable with the SSC EMS system.
As a result of this validation, SSC’s president Dick Kelsey is very optimistic, saying, “We’re now able to launch a technology that is going to dramatically increase food production, and energy management globally. This is why we were just selected as ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ by the Reno Gazette Journal.”
After seeing ripe tomatoes on his vine in January, here’s what DTR owner John Shank had to say, “As the Research Center for SunScience, we find that their system exceeds our expectations.”
About SunScience Corporation. SSC’s initial focus is on greenhouse energy management, however other products in the pipeline are (1) a Mobile Municipal System (MMS) and (2) electric vehicle charging stations. For general information about SunScience visit their website. To purchase the SunScience greenhouse system or to explore investment opportunities, contact president Dick Kelsey by email or by phone: 800-949-1891
SOURCE: SunScience Corporation"Solar energy system", critical elements, environmental metrics, farming operations, greenhouse farming, thermal energy, wind turbines
Short URL: http://www.solarthermalmagazine.com/?p=16861