Smarter, Affordable Smart Farm Technology (Green & Agritech Asia 2022) (August 25, 2022)
- Date : 2022-09-02
- Views : 484
International Cooperation Team
Smarter, Affordable Smart Farm Technology (Green&Agritech Asia 2022)
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST; President: Seok-Jin Yoon) took part in "Green & Agritech Asia 2022," which was held at the Kim Dae Jung Convention Center in Gwangju from August 25 to 27, to display its latest research outcomes on carbon-neutral smart farms.
Smart farms are an agricultural method that utilizes science and technology to optimize environmental factors for growing crops, such as temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide concentrations. By improving the productivity and quality of crops, profits can be increased. However, factors such as the large amount of energy that is invested into these facilities for operations such as cooling and heating, and the need for a professional consultant who manages the optimal conditions of the growing environment to visit the farm in person, have so far been obstacles to the spread of smart farms.
To solve these issues, several KIST research centers, including the Advanced Photovoltaics and Smart Farm Research Centers, are conducting joint research with the aim of establishing automated smart farms and securing their energy efficiency. Some of their efforts were on display at the "Green & Agritech Asia 2022" exhibition.
The "selective light transmission smart farm solar cell" technology is a solar cell for smart farms that selectively transmits only the sunlight necessary for growing crops and generates electricity with light. In the case of existing silicon solar cells, since they block sunlight when installed, they cast shadows on crops and adversely affect their growth. For this reason, it had been difficult to apply solar cells to smart farms. Byoung-Koun Min, principal researcher in KIST's Clean Energy Research Division, and a research team led by Phillip Lee combined flood-type solar cell technology and dichroic optical filter technology to solve this problem together with a research team under Professor Yongseok Jeon of Korea University and Professor Young Rag Do of Kookmin University. Blue light (430-470 nm) and red light (630-680 nm) is transmitted and used for crop growth, and light filters reflect the light wavelengths corresponding to the remaining sunlight so that the solar cells can absorb and generate power. In addition, this solar cell has the advantage of being able to finely adjust the wavelength range and amount of light transmitted, so that optimal light conditions can be created depending on the type of crop.
Byoung-Koun Min, principal researcher at KIST, commented, "This technology is significant in that it can use all of the light wavelengths except for the minimum sunlight required for crop cultivation for solar power generation, so that most of the energy needed for operating smart farm greenhouses can be covered with renewable energy."
The "Development of Decision Algorithms through Modeling of Smart Farm Collection Data" was conducted as part of the "Decision SW (Substratus Korea Co., Ltd.) Project for Digital Cultivation Management of Facilities and Vegetable Crops." In the case of existing smart farms, consultants regularly visit farms to provide reports on how to manage them. However, as visits are restricted due to COVID-19 and data collection using various sensors in the smart farms is possible, an attempt is being made to analyze data and provide online consulting services.
A research team under Hyoung-Seok Kim, principal researcher in KIST’s Smart Farm Research Center, is accelerating the commercialization of online consulting services for smart farm crops through joint research with Substratus Korea, Doctor Chi-Gwon Kim of 12CM, Seon-Young Kim, Director of Tmax Enterprise, Chang-Geun Kim, CEO of Culti Labs, and Gyun-Hui Kim’s research team from Master Balgrow. The decision-making items and criteria required when conducting online face-to-face consulting are provided by Substratus Korea, which employs the nation's best cultivation consultants, while smart farm crop growth information can be easily obtained by smartphone, technology advancement and data collection are provided by Culti Labs, and nutrient moisture information acquired through crop weight and leaf temperature measurements and implementation of sensor technologies for monitoring crops’ physiological status are carried out by Master Balgrow.
For its part, KIST is developing decision-making algorithms and markers through the analysis and modeling of collected data. Apps which provide services utilizing these developments are being developed by the software company 12CM. The online cultivation consulting software developed to date has been implemented in 15 demonstration smart farms to collect data and upgrade the software, and also to 30 pilot farms where the internal environment, such as the temperature and humidity, is monitored to develop more versatile services.
KIST Center Head Hyoung-Seok Kim said, "Remote online cultivation consulting is meaningful in that it can be developed into a more accurate and effective smart farm management prescription through continuous analysis of smart farm data generated during the service application process."
The above research results were funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Science and ICT, and the Rural Development Administration with the support of the Smart Farm Research and Development Project.