Hydroponics & Energy Efficiency at the AgriDome
To address the need for productive, year-round food production systems in remote, northern communities, the ‘AgriDome Feasibility Study’ was conducted at Yukon College during the winter and spring of 2015. The AgriDome consisted of an insulated dome, vertical hydroponics systems and partially automated plant production that aimed to reduce the inputs of power, water and labour in order to reduce the cost of producing vegetables in harsh, northern environments. The results of this study demonstrated that the AgriDome was able to exceed expectations by significantly reducing heat and water expenditures while producing a variety of plants and vegetables with acceptable levels of productivity.
Lessons from the completion of this study included:
- Understanding the need to integrate both hydroponics and outdoor, soil based production. Although power expenditures were reduced, the lighting system that was used can’t compete against the abundantly available sun during the summer months.
- Understanding the need to integrate different forms of agriculture such as horticulture and animal production in order to provide remote producers with the ability to provide a variety of different kinds of food for their communities.
This project was supported with contributions from Agri-Arctic Yukon (PolarPonics) and the following organizations: