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The Zephyr concept and the energetic autonomy
Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6805-2112
Exergy Ltd..
2014 (English)In: CAFFEINA 2014: Il Futuro e le Radici - The Future and the Roots, 2014Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Currently, forest ecosystems are facing many sustainability problems due to drastic climate changes and extreme exploitation of their resources. Planted forests can contribute to more sustainable practices and help addressing some of these issues. In order to be able to profit from these benefits sustainably, production rates of forest regeneration materials should be higher than the harvesting rates. Nevertheless, intensive production methods often bring along adverse consequences for the environment.

At the moment, there exist several options such as greenhouses or plant growth chambers that allow producing forest materials more rapidly. Unfortunately these systems consume considerable high amounts of energy for lighting, acclimatization and irrigation having a negative impact on the environment.

The Zephyr project aims to introduce an innovative technology built on pre-cultivation of forest regeneration materials in a zero-impact and cost-friendly production unit. The project will integrate several technologies into a functional and transportable system for large scale production of pre-cultivated forest regeneration materials adapted to transplanting and further growth at forest nurseries.

A transportable and closed incubator independent from the outdoor climate provides a better control on the seedlings production. The plants can be produced directly at the place where they are needed avoiding further transportation to the reforestation/afforestation zone. The closed-climate allows seedlings pre-cultivation in places where it would not be possible otherwise (e.g. near deserts). Additionally, it extends the production time throughout the whole year even during the winter. Moreover, it will allow a certified and standardized production of reforestation materials, with a noticeable increasing of the efficiency of the reforestation operations.

Specially developed LED growth lamps and wireless sensors will be used to reduce energy consumption and monitor the cultivation process. The main part of the energy will be provided by solar PV-panels, depending from the geographic and climatic area the power system should be able to provide at least one day of autonomy (in central Europe). The energy savings will result in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; moreover, since the LED lamps do not produce additional warming, there will be further energy saving through the reduction of air conditioning costs.

The PV system is designed based on the load specifications of the different subsystems involved for advanced state-of-art pre-cultivation of forest seedlings. It will be further evaluated based on the changes in the load profiles as the growth protocols for different species are defined.  The main objectives are to maximize the power/energy flow delivered to the load and to investigate feasible options for an external backup power source whilst considering options to reduce the overall load of the system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
Stand-alone PV-system, energy efficiency, forest plant production, forestry incubator, plant factory
National Category
Forest Science Energy Systems
Research subject
Energy, Forests and Built Environments, Zephyr, EU projekt inom 7:e ramprogrammet, europeiskt samverkansprojekt för utveckling av ny energisnål och miljövänlig teknik för produktion av skogsplantor
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-16439OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-16439DiVA: diva2:764950
Conference
CAFFEINA 2014. Conference: “Il Futuro e le Radici - The Future and the Roots ” July 4th 2014, Viterbo, Italy
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 308313
Available from: 2014-11-20 Created: 2014-11-20 Last updated: 2016-05-03Bibliographically approved

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