Vertical Farming Development Centre

CHAP’s Vertical Farming Development Centre is housed at Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC), near Selby, and provides additional and complementary capabilities to STC’s existing LED4CROPS facilities.

This facility enables growers, food producers and researchers to determine how different technologies in a controlled environment impact the economics of LED vertical farming. The aim is to develop technologies that will reduce production costs while maximising profits, potentially on a large scale.

The development centre consists of two identical growth rooms each with full climate control (temperature, relative humidity, CO2). Each growth rooms contains 112m2 of LED-lit cropping area (four tiers). Crops will be grown using a fully recirculating hydroponics system. All inputs and outputs will be monitored.

A major question inhibiting investment in vertical farm technology is the economics of crop production. This new facility has been designed with the primary goal of quantifying those economics for a wide range of crops. As there are two identical compartments, it is possible to compare the impact of different climate control strategies on energy efficiency and crop yields, leading to improved energy efficiency, sustainability, yields and economics.

The facilities provide the perfect location to test and develop new technologies aimed at improving all aspects of vertical farms. The system has been designed to achieve a high-care environment so clean crop can be grown, potentially removing the need to wash harvested produce.

Our services include:

  • Assessment of economics and yield potential of vertical farms.
  • Testing and demonstration of new sensors and automation technology.
  • Variety trials and crop breeding.
  • Bespoke training in the operation and agronomy of vertical farms.

For any further information about this capability or to discuss a collaboration and/or grant for a commercially funded project, complete the form below.