ECF is the designer of farms that produce healthy vegetables and fish.
ECF works throughout the business development lifecycle of the project – from the idea to the turnkey system.
ECF produces high-quality food cost-effectively while conserving resources. It is a B2B play, i.e. that of urban-farming for B2B providing large-scale, competitively-priced, locally-grown food with lower environmental footprint to professional customers.
The ECF Farm Berlin (ECF Farmsystems) is an innovative urban-farm leveraging greenhouse and vertical farm cultivation techniques to produce potted plants. The facility utilizes aquaponics to naturally fertilize its crops for the second largest supermarket chain in Germany.
Fluence LED lighting help ECF Farmsystems to produce year-round, which results in the production of consistent and uniform harvests to its customers. Additionally, Fluence lighting solutions dramatically cut down on the use land in ECF Farmsystems’ urban farm, enabling the facility to yield 35% more crops than before on the same real estate footprint.
ECF aquaponics is an innovative, high-performing system which enables the resource-friendly and commercially viable production of fish, vegetables, herbs and fruit.
The excrement from the fish provides a nutrient-rich water, which is then used in the hydroponics circuit for growing vegetables and herbs.
Aquaponic is the combination of aqua-culture, i.e. the breeding of captive fish, with hydro-ponic, i.e. the breeding of plants outside of a soil environment and providing nutrients through a water-based solution.
While some of the know-how originated from the German Leibniz ‘Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei’ (Institute for fresh water ecology and fishery), ECF has gone on to refine it with its own experience and know-how from operations.
Whereas independently, aquaculture and hydroponic are well established, their combination on the form of aquaponic is a relatively new method of food production with little industrialscale operations.’
Tailored fish production
The ECF aquaculture circulatory system consists of a system-specific number of fish basins, the most modern filter system and oxygen reactors. The components are mainly made of BPA-free plastic. The ECF monitoring technology calculates the optimal pH values, water temperatures and food amounts. The resulting increase in the fish’s well-being boosts their immune system, lowers their mortality rate and enables a continually stable harvesting volume without compromising size or quality.
Indeed, fish farming may be considered a major industry, whether in fresh water (e.g. trout) or in marine settings (e.g. salmon, dorade/bream, prawn); hydroponic in its own right is becoming increasingly used for tomatoes and salad cultivation; the largest greenhouse in Germany is hydroponic-based.
Optimized cultivation method
Within the ECF hydroponics circulatory system, the cultivation method is selected which is best for the plants you’ve chosen to grow: ebb and flow systems, drip irrigation, nutrient film technique (NFT) and deep-water culture/raft/floating (DWC). These systems can be supplemented by the use of assimilation lighting (e.g. LED). Water amounts, nutrients and watering rhythms are continually monitored and controlled via the central ECF monitoring technology to ensure high-performance production.
Aquaponic promotes and requires material flows between both types of cultivation and therefore needs a certain proximity, even compactness. It is this feature which especially positions it favorably for urban farming (alongside further environmental considerations).
Since the hydroponics receives the effluent from the fish farming (as a nutrient) as well as the CO2 and conversely feeds back oxygen into the aquaculture, a real symbiosis occurs between both systems. By balancing a system through this process, negative externalities can be avoided, such as over fertilizations and eutrophication that often occurs in traditional open land farming.
Fluence LED lightings – Fluence creates lighting solutions for controlled environment commercial crop production.
Fluence Bioengineering is evolving the way the world cultivates food, medicine and our collective understanding of photobiology. Combining more than a century of expertise in photobiology research, semiconductor design and lighting design to explore high-PPFD cultivation, wavelength impact on plant morphology, and photoperiodic response.
Fluence Bioengineering LED-based lighting systems are designed to provide high levels of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) ideal for commercial cultivation and research applications from microgreens to cannabis. From sole-source indoor grow lighting to supplemental greenhouse lighting, we custom tailor our light spectrum and form-factors to optimize plant growth and increase yields while consuming less energy and reducing operating costs versus legacy technologies.