Connectors enabling high tech agriculture

In this article, Samtec explains how connectors proven in harsh automotive applications are now supporting the development of vertical farming applications

Intelligent Growth Solutions is an innovator in vertical farming. Based in Scotland, IGS has developed the Growth Tower, a vertical farm that replaces soil with racks of trays stacked up to 12m high. The plants gain the nutrients they need from their roots which are flooded  with a nutrient solution on a schedule set by software-controlled automated growth recipes.

LED technology provides an alternative to direct sunlight and IGS has developed a Total Controlled Environment Agriculture (TCEA) platform that integrates all these elements to manage indoor farming. Yield is maximised while resources are used efficiently. Food can be grown any time of year, meters from the population that will consume it.

Compared to conventional farms, the Growth Tower can produce more food on a tiny percentage of the area. Unlike open fields, water not taken up by crops can be collected and reused. Vertical farms can be located to reduce the carbon footprint, making supply and logistics simpler.

The vertical farm environment creates challenges for electronic components. Humidity and temperature require components designed to provide reliability in tough conditions. Regarding connectors, products designed for tough automotive or telecommunications conditions are delivering the performance IGS needs to support its technology.

Samtec manufactures high-performance connectors. The company supports innovators like IGS with rapid development and the latest interconnection products designed for harsh environments. Samtec is proud to partner with IGS to deliver superior service and innovative connector solutions to support the latest developments in vertical farming.