The CODECS project focuses on “maximising the co-benefits of digitalisation through enabling digital ecosystems”. To this end, it aims to investigate the costs and benefits of digitalisation in the local context. In the same way, it seeks to establish demonstrations that encourage the adoption of digital solutions, these demonstrations are carried out in experimental farms that are part of the “Living lab communities” that are established by this project in different parts of Europe.

During the general assembly in Almeria, Spain who took place between 12-14 December 2023, 33 project partners from different EU countrires had the opportunity to visit the facilities where the experimental farm in Almeria is located. It is an experimental greenhouse of 1900 m2, equipped to simulate commercial tomato growing conditions. The greenhouse is operated by AgroConnect.

What is it?

The farm represents a greenhouse with automatic controll system for temperature, humidity and irradiation. Six measuring stations are used inside the greenhouse to monitor variables such as temperature, humidity, radiation, CO2 and soil properties. It has a dehumidifying machine for humidity control and ventilation system.  Thermal air-conditioning is achieved by means of six fan coils connected to a system comprising. The greenhouse has two distillation systems to guarantee the water supply.

Other services that can be found on this demo farm are photovoltaics and solar termal for electricity generation which is used for internal needs, intelligent electrical panel for electrical system measurements, water destilation system and reverse osmosis unit for destillation of seawater. It converts seawater into osmosis water for various uses on the farm. Seawater on the other hand is used as a cooling source for the membrane distillation system. Furthermore, they have a reversable heat pump with hot-cold tank and biomass heater for greenhouse heating and CO2 production and storage units as well as external weather stations for weather data collection.

Why we find this demo farm interesting?

The demo farm represents an experimental infrastructure and research demonstrator at real scale and functionality, a connected, autonomous, autosufficient and sustainable greenhouse using renewable energies. It represents a connected ecosystem with the aim of establishing an interoperability of all the data generated as well as efficient integration and control of heterogeneous data.

More about the demo farm can be found on their official website:

Algae Research Center of the University of Almeria and Facilities of the Government of Andalusia

Together with the demo farm, we have also visited their algae research center. It is dedicated to establishing an extensive integrated biorefinery centered around microalgae. This facility is designed to produce biostimulants, biopesticides, food additives, as well as biofertilizers and aquaculture feeds. Notably, it utilizes solely seawater and freshwater nutrients, along with waste materials such as wastewater, concentrate, and pig manure. The overarching goal is to implement a zero-waste process on demonstration scales of up to 5 hectares, ensuring both environmental and economic sustainability.

To achieve this, the Demonstration Center of this biorefinery operates to showcase the technology, assess the system’s operational characteristics, evaluate environmental impacts, and collaborate with potential users. More about this practice can be foun on:

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