Design of a Modified Shipping Container as Modular Unit for the Minimally Structured & Modular Vertical Farm

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/347073
Title:
Design of a Modified Shipping Container as Modular Unit for the Minimally Structured & Modular Vertical Farm
Author:
Liu, Xiang
Issue Date:
2014
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The specific aim of this study was to advance the development of the Minimally Structured & Modular Vertical Farm (MSM-VF), an original concept developed at The University of Arizona, by designing a specific modular unit made of a transparent-walled modified standard shipping container for use in climate locations represented by Los Angeles and New York City. The conclusions of the study included: (1) A workable range of temperatures (15 to 30°C) for cultivating tomato in Los Angeles and New York City could be achieved in a transparent-walled MSM-VF shipping-container modular unit by using a cover material of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and a heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system with an airspeed of 2 m/s, inlet angle at 60° and outlet position located at the top of the back wall; (2) A workable range of temperatures (15 to 27°C) for cultivating lettuce in Los Angeles and New York City could be achieved by using a cover material of LDPE and an HVAC system with an air speed of 4m/s, inlet angle at 60° and outlet position located at the bottom of the back wall; (3) The annual energy demands of the plastic-walled MSM-VF shipping-container modular unit were far less than those for the opaque-walled control plant-factory unit in all cases, except in the one case of growing tomato in New York City. Still, in this one exception, the annual energy demand of growing tomato in New York City in the plastic-walled MSM-VF shipping-container modular unit of 557.65 kWh/m² (versus 325.34 kWh/m² for the opaque-walled control plant-factory unit) was significantly lower than that of 711.91 kWh/m², which was the average for 164 greenhouses occupying a total of 16444 m² operated by the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES) in the state of New York (CUAES Greenhouses); and, (4) The annual energy demands of the plastic-walled MSM-VF shipping-container modular unit were either significantly lower or for one case approximately the same (773.84 kWh/m²) as that of the 711.91 kWh/m² for the New York greenhouses. By contrast, the annual energy demands of the opaque-walled control plant-factory unit significantly exceeded that of the 711.91 kWh/m² for the New York greenhouses by 170% for Los Angeles and by 126% for New York City, both for growing lettuce. The foregoing results provided significant and reasonable basis for the practicability of Minimally Structured & Modular Vertical Farms made of plastic-walled shipping-container modular units in Los Angeles and New York City as well as in many other mega-cities around the world with similar climates.
Type:
text; Electronic Thesis
Keywords:
Energy Consumption; Vertical Farm; Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering
Degree Name:
M.S.
Degree Level:
masters
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Cuello, Joel

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleDesign of a Modified Shipping Container as Modular Unit for the Minimally Structured & Modular Vertical Farmen_US
dc.creatorLiu, Xiangen_US
dc.contributor.authorLiu, Xiangen_US
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe specific aim of this study was to advance the development of the Minimally Structured & Modular Vertical Farm (MSM-VF), an original concept developed at The University of Arizona, by designing a specific modular unit made of a transparent-walled modified standard shipping container for use in climate locations represented by Los Angeles and New York City. The conclusions of the study included: (1) A workable range of temperatures (15 to 30°C) for cultivating tomato in Los Angeles and New York City could be achieved in a transparent-walled MSM-VF shipping-container modular unit by using a cover material of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and a heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system with an airspeed of 2 m/s, inlet angle at 60° and outlet position located at the top of the back wall; (2) A workable range of temperatures (15 to 27°C) for cultivating lettuce in Los Angeles and New York City could be achieved by using a cover material of LDPE and an HVAC system with an air speed of 4m/s, inlet angle at 60° and outlet position located at the bottom of the back wall; (3) The annual energy demands of the plastic-walled MSM-VF shipping-container modular unit were far less than those for the opaque-walled control plant-factory unit in all cases, except in the one case of growing tomato in New York City. Still, in this one exception, the annual energy demand of growing tomato in New York City in the plastic-walled MSM-VF shipping-container modular unit of 557.65 kWh/m² (versus 325.34 kWh/m² for the opaque-walled control plant-factory unit) was significantly lower than that of 711.91 kWh/m², which was the average for 164 greenhouses occupying a total of 16444 m² operated by the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES) in the state of New York (CUAES Greenhouses); and, (4) The annual energy demands of the plastic-walled MSM-VF shipping-container modular unit were either significantly lower or for one case approximately the same (773.84 kWh/m²) as that of the 711.91 kWh/m² for the New York greenhouses. By contrast, the annual energy demands of the opaque-walled control plant-factory unit significantly exceeded that of the 711.91 kWh/m² for the New York greenhouses by 170% for Los Angeles and by 126% for New York City, both for growing lettuce. The foregoing results provided significant and reasonable basis for the practicability of Minimally Structured & Modular Vertical Farms made of plastic-walled shipping-container modular units in Los Angeles and New York City as well as in many other mega-cities around the world with similar climates.en_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Thesisen
dc.subjectEnergy Consumptionen_US
dc.subjectVertical Farmen_US
dc.subjectAgricultural & Biosystems Engineeringen_US
thesis.degree.nameM.S.en_US
thesis.degree.levelmastersen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAgricultural & Biosystems Engineeringen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorCuello, Joelen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSlack, Donalden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKacira, Muraten_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCuello, Joelen_US
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