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How We Cut Energy Costs and Improved Crop Quality In a Vertical Farm ​

Daily Light Integral (DLI) optimization

DLI is the amount of usable light plants receive throughout a day. Vertical farms heavily depend on artificial lighting (LED lamps) to provide light to plants and it is one of the biggest contributors to the OPEX of running an indoor farm. In the current economic environment, cutting down energy costs has become all the more important for farmers all around the world.

Plants require a certain amount of light to photosynthesize all the sugars it needs to survive and grow. Providing more than necessary without changing other inputs can result in wasting energy. With our multispectral cameras, we detect how well plants are photosynthesising and hence can determine the effects of DLI on the plants. When plants receive more light than they need, they get stressed and such extended periods can lead to wilting, stress and tip burns all of which lead to reduced yield and overall reduction in the quality of plants.

In the case of one of the vertical farms we work with, we compared different DLI regiments and identified that the plants photosynthesize better and were less stressed with a lower DLI regiment than the one currently used in their production. Our recommendations helped them reduce their energy consumption and consequently their energy bills by 25%.

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