Fujitsu and Oceanair helping vertical farming reach the next level

Date: 26 May 2024
Fujitsu and Oceanair helping vertical farming reach the next level
Fujitsu and Oceanair helping vertical farming reach the next level
Sophisticated temperature control using Fujitsu General Air Conditioning UK technology is delivering the best possible growing conditions for a vertical farming enterprise in Northamptonshire.

Vertical Future says its systems use up to 98% less water compared to traditional farming, are energy and resource-efficient, and can grow the same amount of produce in 1% of the space when compared to traditional methods.

The installation was carried out by CSL Air Conditioning with equipment supplied by distributor Oceanair.

Darren James, Director of Vertical Future, said: “I was extremely impressed with the combined work of both Fujitsu and Oceanair on this project. Both companies attended site in tandem so between them could come up with the best option for this project in loadings and efficiency, and choose the relevant equipment within the area we could install the systems.

For the installation at Syan Farms in Horton, CSL Air Conditioning chose equipment from Fujitsu to meet the precise requirements of the customer and end-user. Electrical installation was carried out by a third party.

Syan Farms uses Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) technology, which sets the temperature, light and humidity within each growing stack. By monitoring every aspect of the environment, it can achieve the best possible yield and ensure crops are never affected by poor weather conditions or land damage.

Dave Crate from CSL Air Conditioning, said: “The biggest challenge is designing a system that can distribute air efficiently across the growing area. We have developed a solution with all air conditioning units installed at high level, with cool air sinking across the growing pods and any heat rising into the units. The wall mounts are positioned perpendicular to the growing racks to deliver air across the vertically stacked pods.’’

Oceanair supplied CSL with the equipment needed to keep the growing area at a constant 23°C. It was also crucial to design a system which avoided high-velocity air movement in the 30m2 space, as the plants require conditions as close to natural as possible.

Two Fujitsu 22kW High Static Duct Units are paired with 22kW HP Inverter Condensers. The ducted units are mounted centrally, and each uses a flexible fabric duct sock to distribute air evenly along the centre of the warehouse. These units work alongside eight Fujitsu 9.4kW Inverter Heat Pump Condensers, connected to eight 9.4kW Wall Mount Units. The two groups of four systems, operating off a single controller, are sited at high level on facing walls perpendicular to the growing racks to prevent excess air movement.

Tony Holland of Oceanair said: “We know from long experience the capabilities of the Fujitsu kit and were confident that it was the correct choice for Vertical Future at Syan Farms."

Elsewhere on site, a multi split system consisting of a Fujitsu 6.8kW Multi Condenser connected to two 3.4kW Wall Mount Units and a Compact Cassette serves the entrance, offices and meeting area.

The project is the first of this size for Vertical Future and further sites are now in development. For Syan Farms, the installation marks a significant leap forward from the container-based modules with localised cooling used previously.
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