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.