HAPI has announced a collaboration with researchers at the Technical University of Kosice to develop smart power management capabilities for food production facilities. The collaboration will create a robust and flexible framework for optimizing and protecting the energy footprint of such sites.
HAPI founder Tyler Reed stated: “Power management is foundational to what the HAPI project is building. On the food side, there is a huge diversity in appliances and processes that require electricity. Artificial lighting itself can present a substantial challenge as far as control and scheduling are concerned. Then there are water pumps, nutrient pumps, pH dosing pumps, air pumps, computers and control systems, monitoring equipment and more all bringing their own unique energy requirements to the picture. On the power side, energy producers can charge for their product in various ways. Rates can be based on peak usage, time-of-day usage, flat rates, etc. Developing a capability that can handle this level of complexity is incredibly important to us if HAPI is going to be relevant for large-scale food producers.”
Enter researchers at the Technical University of Kosice in Slovakia. Martin Pala, an artificial intelligence expert at the university, explained how his team would create a solution. “This is essentially an optimization problem. The different devices in a production facility all have timing requirements and energy consumption levels, while the cost and availability of power can vary over time. Our team is using artificial intelligence techniques such as fuzzy systems and genetic algorithms to create an adaptive, intelligent power management function. The system will account for alternative energy approaches as well, where factors like weather, wind and sunlight can impact the availability of energy.”
The power management suite is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2013.
HAPI is short for Hydroponic Automation Platform Initiative. By providing automation modules and structural designs, a clean seed network and a best practice knowledge base, HAPI will dramatically lower the barriers to high-yield, sustainable food production to individuals and communities across the planet. For more information visit http://hapihq.com.