On the way to feed the city!

– Week 3 –

PlantaSymbioSystem

When we look at the trend of the urban population from 1960 to 2014, the urban population had increased 34% and it’s forecasted to increase approximately 5 billion by 2030 (1). The great question is how can we feed more over 5 billion urban population with sustainable and healthy food?

Growing vertically in skyscrapers could be a practical solution that may strengthen issues of food security in modern society.

Visualized Plantagon vertical farm
Visualized Plantagon vertical farm
The polish film production team
The polish film production team

In the third week, there was a Polish film production team who came to make a documentary film of Plantagon vertical farm in the Linköping City, Sweden. Even though, the Plantagon skyscraper farm is on the way to build in the near future. We had a great chance to see how the vertical plant is going to happen!

Location of Plantagon vertical farm
Location of Plantagon vertical farm

So, here is components of PlantaSymbioSystem for Plantagon vertical greenhouse.

Figure 1: PlantaSymbioSystem
Figure 1: PlantaSymbioSystem

Plantagon vertical greenhouse is one growing system in a larger system, since growing plants and vegetables inside the greenhouse need fundamental components that are light, water, air, proper temperature and energy (the important driver of the greenhouse). Plantagon and Swedish cleantech industry have collaborated “PlantaSymbioSystem” which they believe that it could feed the city in the sustainable way (2). PlantaSymbioSystem is a closed loop system which can be divided to two subsystems: greenhouse system and greenhouse supporter system.

Figure 2: Plantagon vertical farm location between biogas plants in the Linköping City
Figure 2: Plantagon vertical farm location between biogas plants in the Linköping City

Plantagon vertical greenhouse will use high technologies to produce the highest productivity. Due to the climate conditions in Sweden that has a long day in the summer and a very long night in the winter. It’s impossible to use natural light growing plant. Therefore, this Plantagon greenhouse will use artificial lights to grow plants. Moreover, climate environmental agriculture (CEA) will be used in this greenhouse as well such as evaporation collectors, dehumidifiers, ventilation controller and heating/cooling system. Hence, they don’t have to depend on fluctuated climates and light. That’s why a vertical greenhouse can produce crops locally all year round. The technical details of the Plantagon vertical greenhouse will be explained later in the next week after I interviewed Joakim, the technical manager of Plantagon International AB.

Turining waste-to-energy diagram
Turning waste-to-energy diagram
Turining waste-to-energy
Turning waste-to-energy

The most crucial part, which is a main driver of the Plantagon vertical greenhouse, is “energy”. The energy component is generated from the greenhouse supporter system. As can be seen in Figure 1, energy will be generated from renewable energy plants such as bioenergy, wind and/or solar power as primary sources. Then, it will be converted to electricity and heating/cooling systems to use in the greenhouse. The Plantagon vertical greenhouse will be located between the Linköping Biogas plants (Figure 2). Both biogas power plants will provide heat and electricity to utilize in the greenhouse. Furthermore, plant residuals from the greenhouse can be used as biogas materials (3).

The Linköping City can produce total energy from renewable sources such as biogas. We had a chance to interview Stafan Jakobsson – Head of Department, Business Development, The Linköping Biogas plants how waste can turn into bioenergy. He explained that all waste is separated to landfills, reuse, material recycling and organic waste. Organic waste is delivered to a biogas power plant and generated to biogas and biofertilizer. The residual left over after reuse and recycling in the waste procedure are sent to the combined heat and power plant to generate heat and electricity. Electricity power is sold to Nord Pool Spot which is the leader of power market in Europe. Some part of heat from the combined heat and power plant and other producers is distributed to households and commercial buildings.

The Linköping biogas plant
The Linköping biogas plant
Mr. Jakobsson with the Linköping biogas plant
Mr. Jakobsson with the Linköping biogas plant
Ebba, an internship partner
Ebba, an internship partner
The Linköping city
The Linköping city

20150526_133458 20150528_203627

References:

(1) http://www.citymayors.com/statistics/urban-population-intro.html

(2) http://plantagon.com/urban-agriculture/industrial-symbiosis

(3) http://www.tekniskaverken.se/om-oss/in-english/waste-to-energy/

Plantagon at first sight!

-Week 2-

Local people with global vision


Projected vertical greenhouse in Lingköping City, Sweden
Projected vertical greenhouse in Lingköping City, Sweden

“That what happens when your heart is turned off, will your head never ever understand but your heart nevertheless always feel.”  —  Business as usual is over, Hans Hassle 

I remember that I was very excited at the first day of my internship in Plantagon International AB. I’ve started internship since May 21st, 2015. The first day here was very warm welcome with everyone who is working in this company. Plantagon is a swedish local company with global vision in urban industrial vertical farming and food security areas. They aim to feed the world with high tech and innovative solutions.

Me, Ebba and Kelly, Plantagon internship colleagues
Me, Ebba and Kelly, Plantagon internship colleagues
I and Plantagon
I and Plantagon

The first day of my internship I’ve first met my internship colleagues – Ebba and Kelly. There was about a company orientation. The interested things of Plantagon International AB are the business model that they are executing and the visionary goals for sustainability and global food security. Hans Hassle, the CEO of Plantagon, has developed the new business model called “The companization”

“The Companization is an alternative way of organizing, owning and controlling a company with the purpose of creating a balance between economic forces and social responsibility.”

Plantagon International AB is the first company that applies the companization to the real world. While others company think that “business as usual” is good enough. This company think beyond the business as usual. Hassle mentioned in his book named “business as usual is over” that “ ‘The Companization’ is my contribution to the progress that I believe is necessary. Companization is a new and modern variation of a corporation, whereby maximum competitiveness is achieved through voluntary accountability, full transparency, and democratic governance.”

Plantagon got many awards from several institutes worldwide. In 2012, Hans Hassle, the CEO of Plantagon International AB, was  awarded as the European CEO Awards 2012.
Plantagon got many awards from several institutes worldwide. In 2012, Hans Hassle, the CEO of Plantagon International AB, was awarded as the European CEO Awards 2012.

I totally agree that business sector is the most influential driver that immensely impacts all over systems of the world such as ecology, economy, society, and environment systems. It is very interesting that local people want to change the world with better solutions. People that believe they can change the world. It’s superb!, isn’t it?

You can pick Bok choy for your lunch! It's fresh and organic!
You can pick Bok choy for your lunch! It’s fresh and organic!
Aquaponic in the Plantagon office
Aquaponic in the Plantagon office

In the weekend, I had a chance to visit my mom’s friend in Borlange which is up north from Stockholm 2 hours. There was very impressive countryside with nature surrounding. There was yellow mustard fields that were blooming. I felt I was so lucky that I was there with beautiful sceneries. And I will come back to celebrate the one of biggest Swedish festivals called “Midsommar” (Midsummer) which is the longest day of the year in Sweden.

Plantagon project in the future
Plantagon project in the future

For the third week, there was a Polish film production team that came to film a documentary of Plantagon with the skyscraper vertical farm in Lingköping City. So, I had a chance to see the whole system of Plantagon vertical farm project that is going to build in the future! I have to say that it was very excited to see how system works!

When I was  Beautiful scenery in Borlange, Sweden
When I was Beautiful scenery in Borlange, Sweden
When I was  Beautiful scenery in Borlange, Sweden
When I was Beautiful scenery in Borlange, Sweden
Beautiful scenery in Borlange, Sweden
Beautiful scenery in Borlange, Sweden
Mustard fields in Borlange, Sweden
Mustard fields in Borlange, Sweden

To be continued…

Best,

Sue

Sueweden first time!

-Week 1-

Walk and lost in Stockholm

I have arrived in Stockholm, Sweden since May 15th, 2015, before starting my internship 6 days. I had time enough for adapting myself, jetlaggin, walking around, and getting lost! Well, it’s just normal when you go a city that you’ve never gone before and you get lost. So my first week was to walk and get lost in the beautiful city like Stockholm.

After I’ve been jetlagged and slept for all 2 days, I started to jump in the train (Here they call “Stockholms tunnelbana”) to the T-centralen station which is the biggest station in the heart of the city. This station is linked to many lines of the metro rail from the northern part to the southern part of stockholm. The Stockholm metro uses electricity for running systems. People here seem using metrorail and bus (busse) as the main transportations. The first time I was in this huge station, T-centralen, I felt like I was in Tokyo station version Stockholm station. It is very crowded like billion ants walking. Hahaha.

On Monday 18th, I went to apply an international student identity card because its benefits can discount in some stores, especially, SL card for metro rail. Using Google Map helps me a lot to go anywhere, although I sometimes walk like a circle because here it’s not obvious to see street name. After finished my errand, it was time to walk around the town and here are what I have seen.

Me and Stockholm
Me and Stockholm

Personally, I love taking photos and sometimes being a photographer for professional works. So, I was very enjoyed to walk and take pictures. Stockholm is the city where is rich of cultures, museums, arts, rivers and parks. I’ve walked through the Royal palace (Kungliga Slottet) and the old town (Gamla Stan). It’s such a long walk with aesthetic feeling. I’ve almost taken photos all I was seeing in front of me.

Walking in Stockholm, The church Riddarholmskyrkan
Walking in Stockholm, The church Riddarholmskyrkan
City Hall side, walking in Stockholm
City Hall side, walking in Stockholm
Walking in Stockholm, the Royal Palace
Walking in Stockholm, the Royal Palace
Walking in Stockholm, Gamla Stan (Old Town)
Walking in Stockholm, Gamla Stan (Old Town)
Walking in Stockholm, the Royal Palace
Walking in Stockholm, the Royal Palace

Next two days later, I tried to find the way to go to “Plantagon International AB” location, which it was easy to go by train. I’m in Kista area where is locations of business and IT center. It’s quite convenient that I can walk from my apartment to Kista station just 10 minutes and go to Fridhemsplan station, then I walked to the building just in 15 minutes.

An apartment in Kista, where I live, is a shared apartment which is belonged to Marcelo. He is a teacher who teaches subjects of woodcraft and technology. I can say he is my first friend here. The incredible thing is he is a nature lover and very sustainable for his living. The way he does recycling in a kitchen is very neat. As you can see in this picture below, this diagram is showing how to separate each type of trash: food scrap (organic), paper (papper), clean plastic bags (for reusing), plastic, old batteries, glass (glas), recycled plastic bottles and metal.

Marcelo, thee host with his green invetion
Marcelo, the host with his green invention
Where I live in Hanstavägen  84, Kista.
Where I live in Hanstavägen 84, Kista.
Marcelo's recycling system
Marcelo’s recycling system
Marcelo's recycling diagram
Marcelo’s recycling diagram

I’d love to tell my story for the second week that I’ve started to intern at Plantagon International AB. I’m happy to say how lucky am I that having this chance to work with this world urban agriculture leader company.

To be continued 🙂

Sue