Novarbo Cultivation Container offers many possibilities

Vertical farming is possible even inside a shipping container. This container is first of its kind in Finland and interest around its diverse possibilities is growing rapidly. 

The vertical farming container is designed and built by Novarbo at one of the company’s production facilities. 

- The container offers many possibilities for educational purposes as one example and it enables implementation of vertical farming anywhere despite the lack of space says Project Engineer Arttu Lammensalo from Novarbo Oy. 

This container was built for The Jyväskylä Educational Consortium Gradia to strengthen the training of future gardeners. Gradia will be able to transport the container between their two facilities in Finland. In addition to educational use the cultivation container is also suitable for research purposes. 

- Investment cost is remarkably lower compared to large scale facilities which makes this type of containers a much more reasonable alternative for a variety of purposes. 

Other advantage worth mentioning is that the container is fully customizable for the customers’ needs as was the case with Gradia. Whether it’s production, education or research the containers are designed and equipped according to the level of customers’ requirements from standard grow rooms to high-end vertical farms. 

At this point Lammensalo cannot estimate the profitability of leafy green production in this scale. However the containers energy consumption in relation to the growing area is on the same level compared to a bigger vertical farming facility. In any case the production is possible like in any other vertical farming facility. 

Precision of cultivation remotely 

The total cultivation area is 25 m2 and the grow room is divided into two racks each with three layers. Fertigation, light and other parameters can be controlled in eighteen sectors individually. 

- All of the essential climate parameters, fertigation as well as light intensity inside the container are automatically controlled with the fidelity of larger facilities says Arttu Lammensalo. 

The container is divided into preparation room and grow room. In the preparation room one can do everything from sowing of the seeds to washing of the equipment. Conditions of the grow room can be adjusted via Growisor control panel and also remotely. Our large scale facilities are equipped with the same system. 

- The conditions can be adjusted according to the crop and growing phase and this container was especially designed for production of a wide range of leafy greens which was one of the requirements from Gradia” says Cultivation Specialist Henri Jaatinen

Changes in Finnish weather do not affect the growing conditions nor is waste heat generated unlike in a greenhouse. 

- Resource use efficiency is increased in a closed system. For example the water transpired by the plants is used again inside the container continues Jaatinen. 

Further development has also been considered. The container has been designed and constructed to also allow the installation of solar panels on the roof and the use of the energy they produce as a source of electricity.

Novarbo Vertical Farming Container gets into a proper test now that cultivation has begun at The Jyväskylä Educational Consortium Gradia.