Due to minimal traveling caused by Covid-19 in 2020, we invited all testbeds members to provide ideas for relevant activities, which the network could fund. Alovivum was one of the testbeds that was granted funding. Their initiative involved an outreach of the testbed for co-creation, data sharing and demonstration.
We got the chance to talk to Henrik Hedlund, contact person for the testbed.
Please tell us more about your testbed – what is the aim of the testbed?
– In focus for the testbed is to further develop and demonstrate intensive horticulture production, using a range of hydroculture platforms for water gardening in farm buildings. In the testbed, we design, install, operate and demonstrate different innovative cultivation platforms for indoor water gardening, using hydroculture, (i e aeroponics, fogponics and hydroponics), efficient LED lighting, optimal climate control, etc.
The testbed is located in a farm building in Gödelöv, Genarp (outside Lund, Sweden) that earlier was used as a cow stable and has a size that is ideal for R&D work and the pilots that are used for testing of indoor, hydroculture cultivation. The testbed is supported with a digital infrastructure (Yggio) that connects different equipment, sensor configurations and cultivation platforms inside the farm building (barn), to assure efficient and flexible data collection and management. This infrastructure is provided by Sensative.
The testbed is setup in a peri-urban context, which means cultivation mainly of fresh, leafy greens in empty farm buildings close to urban areas, with local supply chains, directly linking producers and consumers.
The aim of the testbed is to develop and demonstrate intensive horticulture production, using a range of configurations for water gardening and hydroculture platforms, showing metrics to evaluate and show significant improvements in horticulture, including metrics for efficiency, productivity, sustainability and profitability. In focus has been to establish well-known and standardised measures, derived from different data sources, to be able to consistently provide metrics on the performance of different cultivation methods.
The testbed’s main data structure consists of:
- monitoring and control of sensors, environment, equipment and plants at the testbed (Gödelöv),
- collection, surveillance and calculated nodes in the Yggio middleware (provided by Sensative),
- analysis, metrics and models in data application(s) (greenbeds.com: SDGtoolkit, mutec.cloud, etc),
- sharing and presentation at web sites (barngreens.com, greenbeds.com, Nordic Testbed Network web site, etc).
The datasets that are generated to address the purpose to evaluate the performance of different cultivation methods, via derived and calculated metrics, can be divided into the following data categories:
- Environment: outdoor/weather- and indoor conditions, etc,
- Control: cultivation platforms (water source, root- and shoot systems, climate shell, etc,
- Plant: fresh- and dry biomass, leaf area, allocation, content, capacity, productivity, efficiency, etc,
- Resource: electricity, heat, light, water, nutrients, base area; consumption and efficiency, etc.
In a data application (SDGtoolkit, mutec.cloud, CN, Grafana, PowerBI, etc) several operations can be made on the original datasets and time series:
- detection, classification and checks of errors in data,
- normalisation of data for more aggregated and generic comparisons,
- substituting data values and units, given accurate calibrations,
- baselines for data,
- statistical analysis on data,
- mathematical operations on data (e g calculated nodes) to provide derived data and metrics,
- modelling and simulation of data to evaluate different scenarios, e g upscaling of crop production,
- modelling to automate collection of equivalent measures, e g leaf area growth as a measure of biomass growth,
- preparing data to be comparable between different testbeds, scales, measures and units.
What benefits does your project offer in the context of digitalisation and bioeconomy?
– The main benefits that we hope to offer as an outcome of the project funded by the Nordic Testbed Network is that this kind of digitalisation and collection of standardised, comparable and sharable data will provide valuable metrics for efficiency, productivity, sustainability and profitability that can be used for baselines and benchmarking of different improvements in cultivation, both for different kind of horticulture production (greenhouse cultivation, indoor, hydroculture cultivation in farm buildings, urban farming, etc) and agriculture applications (outdoor farming of crops in soil)