Energy / Climate Change

March 9, 2010


Clean Energy to Help Grow Strawberries

Keywords: Environmental Technology Non-manufacturing industry Renewable Energy 

Japan's National Agricultural Research Center for Kyushu Okinawa Region developed in 2009 a low-cost temperature control system called "Ichigo-Ekonari System" (a device to produce strawberries ecologically) by improving the conventional system. The system helps control the surrounding temperature of strawberry crowns that contain many meristematic cells for growth.

By discharging cold or hot water into tubes located along the crowns, the system keeps the temperature around 20 degrees Celsius, an ideal temperature for strawberries to grow. The system was originally developed to stabilize strawberry production because supply had been unstable due to global warming, but high initial costs were a problem.

The new system utilizes clean energies such as underground water or exhaust heat from air-conditioners to keep the temperature surrounding the strawberry crowns between 15 and 23 degrees Celsius. The attached heat pump supplements the system to provide energy if there is an energy shortage. The system contributes to reduced carbon dioxide emissions, and has succeeded in halving the initial cost, reducing the running cost by 75 percent and lowering the heavy oil consumption by 40 percent compared to the previous system.

Posted: 2010/03/09 06:00:15 AM