At the Greentech Festival in Berlin, Würth Elektronik demonstrated how wireless connectivity with an IoT-networked prototype of a digital greenhouse can contribute to feeding a rapidly growing world population. In the innovative cultivation system, lighting, irrigation, fertilization, and air conditioning can be monitored, controlled, and dynamically optimized remotely and automatically.
The world's population is growing inexorably while available resources are becoming ever scarcer. Here, vertical farming with LEDs in multi-story high-tech greenhouses offers promising solutions to the pressing issues of global food security. In this pioneering farming method, plants are grown under artificial light and controlled conditions, and their growth and nutrient content is optimized. By using wireless connectivity technology, the efficiency, monitoring, and control of these cultivation systems can be significantly improved.
Real-time monitoring of parameters, such as temperature, air and soil moisture, light intensity, as well as CO2 content of the air, allows the environmental conditions to be precisely adapted to the needs of the plants. If abnormal values are measured, or unexpected changes are detected, the digital greenhouse automatically sends notifications to the operators. This allows errors to be detected at an early stage, potential problems to be rectified quickly, and possible crop failures to be avoided. Efficient remote control and automation also enable optimal plant growth and maximize crop yields while reducing manual effort and conserving resources such as water and energy.
"Smart farming, today, means above all: smooth digital IoT networking," emphasizes Alexander Gerfer, CTO of Würth Elektronik eiSos, a manufacturer and supplier of electronic and electromechanical components. "Measurement data, for example, on the PH value and salt content of the recycled irrigation water, the soil moisture or the CO2 content of the air, must be reliably transferred to the cloud so that they are available to the control system in real-time. Its control commands must arrive just as reliably at the actuators. Then, irrigation pumps can be started selectively, or the color temperature of the LED lighting can be adjusted so that the plant can be provided with the optimum light recipe in every growth phase."
Connected Vertical Farming with LED
In the age of digitalization, electronics has a decisive influence on sustainability. Many future-forward products contain electronic and electromechanical components, printed circuit boards, intelligent power and control systems, services, and solutions from Würth Elektronik. Greentech Festival visitors were able to see what this all looks like in practice at the joint stand of Berlin Partner. There, Würth Elektronik presented the IoT-networked Connected Vertical Farm prototype, an innovative horticulture rack that impressively integrates plant-optimized LED lighting as well as real-time monitoring and remote control of sensors and actuators via wireless connectivity. "For both wireless connectivity and energy-efficient lighting in vertical farming with LED, Würth Elektronik offers components and sophisticated solutions, such as our Horticulture LED Panel, our Lighting Development Kit, or the energy-saving Adrastea-I cellular module, which is used to bridge the longer distances in IoT applications," explains Oliver Opitz, Vice President Wireless Connectivity & Sensors at Würth Elektronik eiSos GmbH & Co. KG.
"Würth Elektronik makes innovations possible - quickly and easily," promises Alexander Gerfer. "Through quality, long-term availability and intensive customer support, we develop sustainable, resource and energy-saving solutions together with our customers and suppliers. In doing so, we see ourselves by no means only as a supplier but also as a technology enabler. We support developers with free component samples and know-how transfer, and this also and especially applies to innovative startups. We also work closely with universities and colleges, promoting our own developments as well as the customers and employees of tomorrow. What opportunities there are, what we offer, and what we do, is what our team talked about at the booth with many interested people."
For more information: