Tomato farm powered by sunlight and seawater


A refrigeration company is using the skills and knowledge gained from chilling wine to help grow tomatoes on the edge of the Australian outback.

Cold Logic has won a $1 million contract to refrigerate desalinated water at Sundrop Farms’ 20-hectare sustainable greenhouse facility in Port Augusta, about 300 km north of Adelaide.

The sustainable farm is powered by a solar-thermal desalination process using two abundant fuels: sunlight and seawater.

Computer-controlled mirrors focus sunlight onto a tower to superheat the seawater and convert it to steam. The steam drives a turbine to generate electricity, desalinate the water and power the farm.

The desalinated water is used to irrigate the tomatoes — and that’s where Cold Logic comes in.

Cold Logic Partner Eddie Lane said his company had developed a system using ammonia technology to chill more than 2.8 million L of water/day.

He said the processed water was about 35°C after it had been desalinated.

“Our component really is to make sure there is an effective water supply at the right temperature that can be sent via the pumps to the greenhouses,” Lane said.

Originally published here.

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