Armela Farms

A fully electric, fossil-free (semi-)closed greenhouse that approaches zero irrigational water demand through use of industrial condensate that is generated by the cooling system.

Innovative solutions

Technologies implemented in this project:

Air cooler condensate is treated into irrigation water within the greenhouse, reducing the water demand to almost zero. Added CO2 is kept inside the greenhouse with continuous recirculation, significantly reducing the greenhouse’s CO2 demand.

The greenhouse is a fully airconditioned facility (heating and cooling), both day and night and 365 days per year, ensuring the optimal growing conditions for the crop. This is achieved through fully electric (fossil-free)

The combination between a high-tech (semi-)closed system and lettuce is by itself already innovative and results in high yield, while keeping the energy and water demand to an absolute minimum. 

Fully electric and fossil free.

Project description

Armela Farms utilizes unused desert land and transforms it into a high-tech, sustainable food production facility, while taking reduced carbon emissions and water conservation into the highest regard. Armela Farms will be the largest automated data-driven growing facility in the United Arab Emirates. Located in Abu Dhabi, the farm will be able to produce over 9,000,000 lettuce heads per annum. The greenhouse can run both as a semi-closed and closed system, combining each of their benefits to create an ideal climate for lettuce, while remaining as energy efficient as possible.

The irrigation water demand is low through the use of air cooler condensate: a ‘waste’ stream that is treated to supplement as high-quality irrigation water. Advanced treatment technologies allow to take other valuable ‘waste’ water streams, besides irrigation drain water,  and (re)incorporate them into the irrigation system. One of these streams is ‘air cooler condensate’. When irrigation water is taken up by the crop, only a small fraction is used by the crops themselves. The majority is ‘lost’ from the liquid water cycle as it escapes in its gaseous form through the crop’s evapotranspiration. In a closed greenhouse system, this water can re-emerge as air cooler condensate, substantially reducing the greenhouse’s freshwater need.

Building a high-tech greenhouse in the desert

Mechanical and adiabatic cooling combined

Growing lettuce in a desert environment: fossil-free and with a minimal water footprint

Ambitious plans?

Do you want to achieve the best results for your project? We’re ready. Let’s talk. +31 88 262 66 66

Menno
van den Brink

Chief Technology Officer