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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp015425kd40n
Title: Assessing the Energy and Water Use of Vertical Farming at Princeton University
Authors: Haynes, Jesenia
Advisors: Gauthier, Paul P.
Hedin, Lars O
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Certificate Program: Environmental Studies Program
Class Year: 2018
Abstract: Research in sustainable solutions for harmful large-scale agriculture will help preserve the earth’s ecosystems and natural resources. Hydroponics is a method of farming that is shown to use considerably less amount of water and land when compared to conventional farming. In 2017, the Princeton Vertical Farming Project (PVFP) was started at Princeton University and is a way for individuals to get involved with hydroponics research and development of its systems. The purpose of this study is to monitor the energy and water demands of growing lettuce and kale in a Deep Water Culture system through the PVFP, then compare these demands to the water and energy needed to grow lettuce and kale by conventional farming methods. This was done by measuring the kWh of energy used by the vertical farming equipment and measuring the amount of water used in each experiment. Data for the energy and water comparisons of conventional farming are taken from two previous studies conducted by Barbosa et al. (2015) and Pimentel (2006). Based on one experiment’s results, there are three major findings from this study: the DWC system produces a larger yield per square meter than conventional farming for kale, and 6.9 times larger yield per square meter for lettuce; conventional farming uses about 6 times more water than the DWC system for lettuce production, and 14.55 about times more water for kale production; the PVFP DWC system uses 378 times more energy than conventional farming for lettuce production, and 63 times more energy for kale production. This is the first ever hydroponics vertical farm at Princeton, and there have not been any other studies published to this date that examine the environmental impacts of vertical farming at Princeton University. This study and its results will help future research and Princeton vertical farming operations become more efficient by highlighting design flaws and potential improvements to the DWC system and vertical farming at Princeton.
URI: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp015425kd40n
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1992-2019

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