A Sustainable Movable Vertical Garden
Protecting Our Scarce Resources

A Sustainable Movable Vertical Garden

A Sustainable Movable Vertical Garden

A Sustainable Movable Vertical Garden

The proposed project aims to develop a self-sustaining, carbon-negative, vertical farm. The system is operated fully off-grid, where LED lights will be powered by a battery pack charged through solar photovoltaics (PVs). Then LED lights provide continuous illumination to indoor farming. Due to off-grid energy generation and sequestration of CO2 by plants, growing hydroponically or aeroponically, under weather proof conditions, this vertical farm will be net-carbon-negative, all while only taking up less space than a quarter of a badminton court.

SDG Goal 02 - Zero Hunger
SDG Goal 07 - Affordable and Clean Energy
SDG Goal 15 - Life On Land

What is the problem this project is trying to address?

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Energy (DoE) have proposed that “vertical farming may be part of the solution to rising demands for food and limited natural resources” Universities and companies worldwide are putting forward major efforts in this field. The team will work with students and pioneering companies on the study of hydroponics and aeroponics. In hydroponic systems, plant roots are submerged in liquid solutions containing macronutrients, while in aeroponics, a nutrient solution is misted in air chambers where the plants are suspended. Nutrients are more efficiently absorbed from these nutrient solutions compared to soil, allowing plants to harness energy more efficiently for the growth of leaves, fruits, and vegetables. This indoor, well-controlled system can grow healthier plants more quickly, with a much lower risk of disease.

This system will serve as a platform to probe the integration of renewables with storage on a relatively small scale, allowing the development of off-grid solutions that could be deployed in remote areas. Further to that, it will allow the integration of HKUST’s energy storage solution including new type of batteries and AI predictive analytics tools.

How does this project support our sustainable smart campus as a living lab vision?

This project will tackle several sustainability mega-trends, including the integration of storage with renewables through next generation technologies, the development of self-sustained negative-carbon solutions, and the development of eco-friendly food production.