Volume 32: A Sustainable, Clean and Carbon-free Energy Future

Evaluating the Energy Efficiency and Carbon Footprint of Small-Scale Distributed and Centralized Vertical Farming Systems Chaoju Wang, Tongyu Zhou, Zhuming Yu , Dengfeng Du



This paper discusses the potential of small-scale distributed vertical farming in buildings to be a more sustainable and energy-efficient alternative to large-scale centralized vertical farming. While vertical farming has the potential to revolutionize urban agriculture by providing fresh produce year-round and reducing transportation emissions, the energy consumption required to power the lighting systems can be significant, particularly in centralized systems. The study compares the energy consumption and growth of pak choi cabbage plants between centralized and distributed vertical farming systems while adopting a traditional cultivation process as a reference. The data from the experiment are used to simulate the carbon emissions generated by vertical farms. The paper concludes that distributed vertical farming offers higher energy efficiency, with a potential 60% reduction in energy consumption and a 30% decrease in carbon footprint relative to large-scale integrated vertical farms. Yielding over twice the crop output compared to conventional agriculture, this approach may serve as a potential solution to address global food challenges.

Keywords Vertical farming, Energy; LED lighting, Carbon Footprint, Food Security

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