SIRAH: Prototypes for efficient fertigation

The SIRAH innovation project wraps up with the proposal of two new prototypes to improve the efficiency in the use of water and fertilizers in urban agriculture.

On May 28, we held the final meeting of the SIRAH project in coordination with the GRIC research group of the Technical University of Catalonia and the Department of Design and Manufacturing Engineering of the University of Zaragoza. We presented the different models of adaptive fertigation that aim to improve the efficiency in the use of water and fertilizers, and to facilitate the production of food in urban and peri-urban areas. Following the lessons learned regarding the efficient use of resources in indoor greenhouses in the ICTA-UAB laboratories, SIRAH sought to replicate the results in a simple and accessible format for all types of users of urban agriculture. For this reason, an integrated and intelligent station has been created for the use of water and nutrients in urban agriculture that makes it easier to grow food in cities. An interdisciplinary team worked to develop the first prototypes for two and a half years.

“We wanted to build an easy-to-use, compact device that only requires a connection to the water and power grid, and from there it works autonomously to irrigate urban crops; clean, transportable and adaptable “, says Dr. Xavier Gabarrell, director of Sostenipra and principal investigator of the SIRAH project.

During the past two years, three different models of the prototype have been developed, two of which have been implemented and tested in public facilities. On the one hand, the SIRAH metallic model for outdoor spaces has been installed in the experimental veggie garden at La Pau School in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, thanks to the Magnet Alliance with ICTA-UAB. The school children were able to experiment with the use of water to irrigate the garden, while the SIRAH research team was able to evaluate its functionalities and to improve them. On the other hand, the wooden SIRAH model for indoor applications has been installed in the Journal Room of the Humanities Library of the UAB. With this model we were able to test the functionalities needed for indoor spaces, such as noise reduction or the space availability.

The final product of the SIRAH project will be exploited by our start-up company Tectum Garden. If you are interested in our proposed irrigation models, please contact us and we will share more information!