CITYFARM

SEPT 2014 – MAY 2015   

 The CityFARM team poses in front of the farm.

The CityFARM team poses in front of the farm.

 
 

During my senior year at MIT,

I conducted research with the CityFARM team, under Ken Larson's Changing Places group in the MIT Media Lab. (CityFARM has since developed into an independent initiative under the new name OpenAg.)

At the time, the team was developing an urban food production system that they envisioned would be retrofitted to the sides of high-rises and become the primary source of food for cities. Using targeted hydroponic and aeroponic irrigation technology, nutrient-dense water, and artificial growth lights, the farm could grow crops three to four times faster than conventional agriculture while also consume significantly less water and reduce the energy costs of transportation.

 

My research

My project focused on designing a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system that would help regulate the farm's environmental conditions. I first collected data of the incident solar radiation on the farm, and humidity and temperature inside and outside the farm over several days. Then I analyzed the data in MATLAB to develop a theoretical model that described the correlation between the farm's internal and external conditions. The model in turn informed the sizing and operation schedule of the HVAC system.

 
 My poster presentation summarizing the work I did to develop a theoretical model for the temperature of the farm.

My poster presentation summarizing the work I did to develop a theoretical model for the temperature of the farm.

 

Photos from the Farm