Logimatic Engineering A/S, delivered the entire automation solution for a new prestigious greenhouse concept at Sundrop Farms in Australia. The Sundrop Farms grow high-value crops using seawater and sunlight. The greenhouse system harnesses the sun’s energy to convert seawater to freshwater for irrigation, electricity to power the greenhouse, and the energy to heat and cool the greenhouse crops.
Tomatoes out of nothing
Sundrop Farms boasts that they are the first in the world to grow something out of nothing. And they do so with good reason. While a typical greenhouse would use groundwater for irrigation, gas for heating, and electricity for cooling, the Sundrop System relies on seawater and sunlight for its energy and water needs.
The following schematic overview illustrates how the Sundrop system operates in comparison to a conventional energy system for a high-tech greenhouse.
The new state-of-the-art Sundrop System in Port Augusta, South Australia, will heat the greenhouse, that covers almost 50 acres of land, during the winter or on cold summer nights, provide fresh water by desalinating seawater drawn from the nearby Spencer Bay and periodically run a steam turbine to produce electricity.
The benefits, of a system like this, are evident. Conservation of freshwater resources, fewer “food miles”, reduced pesticide use, reduction of fossil fuel demand and efficient use of marginal land – just to mention some. All of this is still possible whilst maintaining a profitable business.
A system like this needs expert minds
However; a fantastic system like this needs expert minds to function – and not least to be reliable. Some of the minds that can ensure this were found as far away as Denmark.
Aalborg CSP A/S, a leading pioneer of concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies was chosen to develop and deliver the integrated solar energy system for the operation of Sundrop Farms’ new greenhouses. To ensure that the system functions seamlessly throughout the year and adjusts to different seasonal demands, Logimatic Engineering A/S was selected as supplier of the entire control system. The two companies have previously proven to deliver world-class solutions together for the solar industry. A few years ago Logimatic supplied large electric- and automation solutions for reliable operation of Aalborg CSP’s steam boilers in solar powered power plants located in the Southern part of Spain – a project that proved very successful.
Throughout the almost three decade long history of Logimatic, the company has an extensive proven record of projects related to ‘green’ automation projects in general. Some of these projects have focused on optimization of e.g. industrial processing and maritime automation. Furthermore, the worldwide demand of experts within this field of business has led Logimatic to complete large-scale automation projects in all parts the world. A few examples are automation controlling steam and hot water boilers for central heating in the Norwegian capitol Oslo, boiler control for aluminum production in Turkey, and documentation of hardware status and software backup on an oil rig in Qatar.
”We are very proud and pleased to be a part of this great project in Australia. A project that once again draws on our core competencies and which will demonstrate the knowledge base we have built up during the past decades”, states Mr. Troels Severinsen, CEO of Logimatic Engineering A/S.
About Sundrop Farms
Sundrop Farms are pioneers in sustainable agriculture in the arid world by cultivating valuable crops using seawater and sunlight. They have the technology and skills to develop, construct, and operate greenhouses in places with limited or no access to farmland, sources of fresh water, electricity networks, or natural gas.
The company has created a proprietary food production system that grows high-quality crops year-round in the greenhouse, utilizing the abundant and renewable resources of sunlight and seawater.
As the world’s population continues to grow, Sundrop Farms is eliminating the dependence of food production on the world’s limited resources and instead relies on sustainable resources to develop the food industry worldwide – not only profitably but also sustainably.