WHAT IS DTT?

DTT40-P

Mushroom production

Large scale mushroom production

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Feed Production

Large scale feed production

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Strawberry Production

Large-scale strawberry production

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Tomato Production

Large scale tomato production

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What is DTT (Vertical Farming Technology)?

You do not need to be a farmer or own any land to be able to produce agricultural products, and it does not even matter where you live.


Vertical farming means producing products in a vertical stack. In this method, soil can be used, as well as production without soil or in ways called aeroponic. Vertical farming was developed for the purpose of growing crops in harsh conditions where fertile soil is scarce or unavailable. This method is carried out in buildings with skyscraper-like designs and using focused farming methods, allowing the cultivation of different varieties of fruits and vegetables in mountainous regions, deserts and cities.

Many vertical fields are designed as indoor environments similar to greenhouses and are either stacked on top of each other or positioned at an angle to allow for better light. In cases where space saving is a priority, the low load and water savings of up to 70 percent provided by soilless production are preferred. In most vertical fields, either the soilless method or the aeroponic method is used, eliminating the possibility of weight being a problem.

In vertical farming, natural daylight and artificial light are generally used together. Artificial lighting generally consists of systems using LED technology and powered by renewable energy thanks to solar energy or wind energy.

Advocates of vertical farming are of the opinion that both the current effects of this method and its future effects on food security and human health will be positive. Thanks to this method, the required agricultural areas will be reduced and pollution will be prevented to some extent by protecting natural life. In addition, urban regions will become self-sufficient.

On the other hand, criticism is often heard that renewable energy cannot be used efficiently and the necessary artificial light cannot be provided in most vertical fields. Many vertical fields have to pay high electricity bills in order to grow quality products. Moreover, one of the points most frequently touched upon by those who make these criticisms is that the problem is not insufficient agricultural areas, but the inefficient use of these areas.

So, what are the methods and innovations used today in the field of vertical farming? In the list below, ideas that can shape the future of vertical farming have been compiled and presented to you. Vertical Farming Method That Could Radically Change Agriculture The aforementioned vertical farming methods, which we will list below, are options that have the potential to cause the disappearance of traditional agriculture in the near future. Many people wonder whether vertical farming could prevent the food crisis the world is facing. Although this unusual method may seem strange to new entrepreneurs, it can be quite useful in regions where arable land is absent or limited. The mentioned method is a useful option with its targeted farming method and skyscraper-like structures, especially in settlements on deserts, mountain slopes and in big cities that require various options. Vertical farming is also a progressive method, saving up to 70 percent of water and significant space and soil savings. Thanks to its sustainable understanding, vertical farming will attract the attention of more and more people day by day, revealing the possibility of farming in really difficult regions. Vertical farming... will our fruits and vegetables come from vertical farming in the future? Population growth, increasing urbanization, climate change and depleted soils – producing our food is becoming more and more difficult. New roads are required. Are vertical farms a solution?

The world population is constantly increasing. More than 7.6 billion people currently live on this planet, with approximately 230,000 being added every day. Most of the world's population is drawn to cities – more than half of the world's population already lives in urban areas, which are megacities covering large areas. This brings with it many challenges. All of these people must be provided with water, housing and energy, and in major urban areas there are traffic arteries through which they can move – and of course each of these people needs enough food. In front of the well-stocked shelf at the corner supermarket we cannot even imagine: Our food production is not sustainable right now. On the one hand, cities have only limited access to surrounding agricultural lands. On the other hand, intensive agricultural practices and heavy use of chemicals largely infiltrate our soils and pollute our waters. Extreme weather conditions such as drought or floods that go hand in hand with climate change are already making much arable land unusable. At the same time, agriculture is responsible for 30 percent of global CO2 emissions, and enormous amounts of energy are used to transport our often-traveled food. Cities are therefore increasingly called upon to provide themselves with more food and thus become more independent from rural areas and global logistics chains. At the same time, it is important to expand traditional agriculture with weather-resistant, climate- and resource-friendly farming methods.

The world population is constantly increasing. More than 7.6 billion people currently live on this planet, with approximately 230,000 being added every day. Most of the world's population is drawn to cities – more than half of the world's population already lives in urban areas, which are megacities covering large areas. This brings with it many challenges. All of these people must be provided with water, housing and energy, and in major urban areas there are traffic arteries through which they can move – and of course each of these people needs enough food. In front of the well-stocked shelf at the corner supermarket we cannot even imagine: Our food production is not sustainable right now. On the one hand, cities have only limited access to surrounding agricultural lands. On the other hand, intensive agricultural practices and heavy use of chemicals largely infiltrate our soils and pollute our waters. Extreme weather conditions such as drought or floods that go hand in hand with climate change are already making much arable land unusable. At the same time, agriculture is responsible for 30 percent of global CO2 emissions, and enormous amounts of energy are used to transport our often-traveled food. Cities are therefore increasingly called upon to provide themselves with more food and thus become more independent from rural areas and global logistics chains. At the same time, it is important to expand traditional agriculture with weather-resistant, climate- and resource-friendly farming methods.

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La Caverne - underground urban agriculture in Paris

In a former underground parking lot that had been empty for years, the startup Cycloponics an urban farm was built in 2017. Mushrooms, endive salad and various vegetable and herb seedlings, also called microgreens, are grown on an area of 3,500 square meters. The young team was inspired by the idea of permaculture: the plant should form a closed loop of natural resources. The mushrooms release CO2, which binds the sprouts as they grow, and the organic waste is completely composted and reused. Since all production occurs underground and all light must be provided artificially, Cycloponics relies on mushrooms needing very little light and chicory deliberately needing no light at all. Salads and microgreens that need light are supplied with energy-saving LEDs – the electricity for it comes from 100 percent green electricity. Products are delivered directly to end users, small markets and restaurants in the area. This means sales are low in emissions and middlemen are eliminated. This allows La Caverne to offer its products at competitive prices.

Growing Underground - Salad at a depth of 33m

Lettuces and herbs grow where people sought protection during bombing raids in the Second World War: In Clapham, London, two entrepreneurs set up a "Growing Underground" garden center 33 meters below ground in a former air raid shelter in 2015. In two tunnels, plants stand on top of each other in sophisticated hydroponic shelving systems illuminated by violet LED light.

Hydroponics or hydroponics is a growing method in which plants are grown not in soil, but in containers filled with water, where they are fixed with coconut fiber or rock wool. As a result, they can be optimally supplied with nutrients and oxygen and grow faster. Irrigation of plants takes place in a closed circuit in which water circulates. This means approximately 70 percent less water is used compared to conventional field crops. Growing Underground receives scientific support from the University of Cambridge, which evaluates data on moisture, temperature and growth rate.

London's first underground farm was so well received by the public that crowdfunding was able to cover most of the £1 million funding. Underground vegetables are now available to buy at several London markets, but also at some branches of supermarket chain Marks and Spencer.

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So what makes vertical and urban farming so special?

A little journey into the vertical and urban farms of the world clearly shows what it is about:

  • Indoor farming : Most of the time plants do not grow outside, but grow in “indoor spaces” in closets, halls or underground.

  • Artificial conditions : The Modern Vertical or Urban Farm is an automatic, self-regulating system in which sensors measure room temperature, air humidity and light intensity, and if necessary, water or fertilizer is added or artificial light is turned on. There is almost no residue and wastewater.

In one study, the Frauenhofer Institute counted more than 50 urban and vertical farms around the world. 80 percent of these farms use hydroponics, and the main crops are leafy greens (69 percent), basil (56 percent), tomatoes (44 percent) and strawberries (25 percent). Most of these farms are half a kilometer or less from the city center and therefore focus on providing immediate neighborhood.

What are the advantages?

From an ecological point of view, this provides a number of advantages.

  • space-saving

By shifting production upwards from the ground, more can be grown than in a comparable area on the ground.

  • Save transport routes

In sophisticated, space-saving systems, plant and animal products are grown directly where they are needed most: cities. Due to the proximity to consumers, transport routes and therefore cold chains are shorter. This saves time and CO2 emissions.

  • Profitable and diverse

Under artificially created conditions, plants can be grown all year round. By controlling the light spectrums of LEDs, without genetic engineering and chemistry, the growth process, taste or size of plants can be affected as needed.

  • Does not contain pesticides

Closed systems make pesticides unnecessary because weeds and animals find it very difficult to get inside. This protects our lands, lakes, rivers and groundwater.

  • Regardless of climate and soil quality

Climate change means we are increasingly dealing with more challenging weather conditions such as floods, droughts or storms. Closed systems offer the advantage of making agriculture independent of weather conditions.

Soil quality doesn't matter either, because plants on high-tech farms have no contact with the soil. Since plants absorb everything that is water-soluble from the soil, they also absorb pollutants. For example, for Japan, after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, vertical farming was primarily a way to produce food without radioactive contamination. Sendai, one of Japan's largest growing regions, is just 80 kilometers south of Fukushima and was affected by the accident.

Additionally, washed out grounds can recover if other growing methods are used that utilize the space above.

Vertical farming is now a reality

Even though many vertical farms are already affordable, there is still a lot of development potential. High-tech farms are not yet competitive for all crops compared to conventionally grown crops in fields and greenhouses. While lettuces, mushrooms, herbs and many types of fruits and vegetables grow very well here, wheat, corn and rice and other grains are difficult to grow in vertical farming because large amounts of biomass are required for these crops. Microalgae are receiving more attention in this context, Under optimal conditions microalgae can produce five times more biomass per hectare than conventional field crops. As a new, biological source of energy, they could be an important source of food for humans and their ability to drive vehicles in the future.

Currently very high energy costs are criticized because all farms use the latest electrified technology and require artificial light throughout the day. But developments here are rapid: LEDs are already cheap and effective to use because, unlike traditional bulbs, they convert a large fraction of the supplied energy into light. They can also be used more selectively. For vertical farms, LEDs that shine in red, blue and infrared are sufficient because the plants use only certain parts of natural light. But as the Frauenhofer Institute found, 78 percent of vertical farms use renewable energy to meet their electricity needs.

If excess energy, abundant in cities, is increasingly used, farms can become energy efficient. One possible source is waste heat from power plants, industries or server farms where the power plants are docked. And it can happen if not only more space for food supply, but also rest rooms are left unused and we eventually get rid of car traffic in cities. In downtown Stuttgart, for example, food for 30,000 to 50,000 people could be produced in empty parking lots alone, according to the Fraunhofer Institute.

Although the projects presented here still have to be considered pilot projects, they clearly show one thing: there is movement and the potential is great!

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If needed; Wind turbine or solar energy panel systems can also be integrated into all our systems, which will eliminate them from being connected to the energy grid of the place where they will be deployed. In this way, product production will continue in case of possible power outages or damage to the product in production will be prevented.

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Solar panels

Solar panel energy production is green and environmentally friendly, no need to consume fuel and install transmission line, can generate electricity and supply power on-site, high energy quality, short construction period


Wind Turbines

Wind turbines have flexible installation locations, high thermal efficiency, zero fuel consumption, reliable and durable operation, low failure rate, low operation and maintenance costs, and are widely used in various fields.

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