NEXUS: Integrated Sustainable Energy for Enhancing Farm Productivity

NEXUS is developing inexpensive and efficient sustainable energy greenhouse heating technologies that provide affordable and sustainable means to improve the food-growing capacities and the standard of living for farmer communities in rural Appalachia while reducing the use of fossil fuels.
Authors: O-Y Yu1, J Ferrell1, H-Y Kim and J Houser
 
Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd
IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Volume 188, conference 1
 
Abstract
 
The NEXUS at Appalachian State University, NC, USA is a multidisciplinary team of faculty and students housed in the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment whose research lies at the intersection of agriculture, energy, and natural resources.
 
NEXUS is developing inexpensive and efficient sustainable energy greenhouse heating technologies that provide affordable and sustainable means to improve the food-growing capacities and the standard of living for farmer communities in rural Appalachia while reducing the use of fossil fuels. This is done by using on-farm biomass resources/wastes such as agricultural waste and wood chips to produce energy. Growing season extension with heated greenhouses increases the availability of local food throughout the year, expands available markets and increases farmers' profits. The 7 m by 10 m greenhouse (conventional hoop) includes an above ground 5,700-liter water storage tank and an aquaculture pond. It is supported by a small-scale pyrolysis system, an anaerobic digestion system, solar thermal, and compost heating. The heat from various heating methods is delivered and stored in the water storage tank inside the greenhouse.
 
An Arduino module controls the flow rate of water from the tank to various heat exchangers based on temperature differentials. A closed loop heat exchanger circulates heated water from the tank to the aquaculture pond to maintain an optimal temperature for tilapia growth. The pond also acts as a thermal storage, and holds/distributes heat to the greenhouse.
 
The main purpose of this study is to test the integrated sustainable energy heating system for growing season extension with less energy cost. Our preliminary result shows that compared to a conventional space heating system, about 30% of energy was saved to keep the greenhouse temperature available for growing by radiation from the water storage tank.

Photo: Inside the greenhouse, thermal battery (left) and raised aquaponics grow beds (right). (credits: O-Y Yu1, J Ferrell1, H-Y Kim and J Houser)

 
Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence
Read more

Comments

No comments to display.

Related posts

ESA's Call for Proposals: Space and Biotechnology

The European Space Agency’s “Space and Biotechnology” opportunity offers support and funding to companies looking to develop biotechnology services that can benefit from using space-based data or capabilities.
Application Deadline in a month

The Shell GameChanger™ Accelerator Powered by NREL Announces First Cohort of Start-Ups

Each participating startup will receive as much as $250,000 in non-dilutive funding to aid in development and demonstration of its technology, with the opportunity for future follow-on funding and beta-testing with a strategic program partner, in addition to access to expertise and laboratory capabilities at both NREL and Shell.

Agroforestry Standards for Regenerative Agriculture

Agroforestry is increasingly being recognized as a holistic food production system that can have numerous significant environmental, economic, and social benefits. This growing recognition is paralleled in the USA by the budding interest in regenerative agriculture and motivation to certify regenerative practices.

Call for applications: The LVMH Innovation Award

The LVMH Innovation Award is an annual celebration of innovation in accordance with the core values of the Group, stimulating creativity and excellence with inventive projects.
Application Deadline in 2 months

U.S. Call for applications: 2019 Stem Cell Research Awards

Win a research award valued up to $15,000 in Biological Industries USA (BI-USA) products and services. Multiple awards available. Application deadline is February 15, 2019 and Winners will be announced by March 31, 2019.
Application Deadline in 2 months

NASA and FAO launch next-generation geospatial tool

Collect Earth Online allows anyone to track land-use and landscape changes anywhere.

EU's Call for Proposals: Responsible sourcing of raw materials in global value chains

Actions should create a global business and stakeholder platform for exchange of information and the promotion of responsible sourcing and responsible business conduct involving a network of key international experts and stakeholders. The aim is to engage governmental and corporate partners from the EU/Associated Countries and third countries in developing a globally acceptable concept of a responsible sourcing in minerals and metals value chains.
Application Deadline in 2 months

The AFRO: First Pan-African Cryptocurrency dedicated to Growth and Development in Africa

Against the backdrop of numerous national currencies affecting trade and growth on the continent, the AFRO provides a reliable, safe and secure solution suited to Africa’s development challenges.

Intel Is Working on an Energy Efficient Bitcoin Mining System

Intel has obtained a bitcoin mining SHA-256 datapath patent that covers a processor and hardware accelerator. The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded the patent.

EU Call for Proposals: Smart Cities and Communities

The COP21 Paris Agreement recognizes the role of cities and calls on them to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.
Application Deadline in 2 months
2 days ago