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Advanced Building Control Systems for Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)


d.      Advanced Building Control Systems for Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)

This subtopic solicits proposals investigating innovative solutions for the refinement, integration, and expansion of existing building management systems and tools for CEA applications. Advanced building control systems for CEA, can be considered analogous to building management systems, but customized for integration into the unique processes and requirements of indoor farms. Current CEA control systems may include some level of connectivity between equipment of moderate efficiency and are intended to optimize the internal conditions for maximum plant quality and growth. This limited amount of integration/connectivity with other building management systems does not allow for smart decisions to be made regarding how and when equipment should operate to optimize energy and water costs, provide grid benefits while still maximizing plant quality and growth. CEA is a rapidly expanding market and currently DOE estimates that these technologies, when paired with high-efficiency integrated equipment, have the potential to save 50-100 TBTu/yr in the U.S. For more information, applicants should refer to the listed building automation system project pages [1, 2, 3].


Specifically, DOE is interested in proposals in the following research areas:

·         Development of Grid-Interactive Integrated Controls that provide capability for the implementation of demand management strategies.

·         Refinement or expansion of existing open-source building management systems for use in indoor agriculture. DOE has funded research on open-source building management-related systems such as BEMOSS™, VOLTTRON™, and foresee™. These systems have focused solely on commercial and residential applications and would need further refinement to adapt to the needs of CEA facilities.


Preference will be given to those applications that address multiple building end use systems including lighting, ventilation, heating, air conditioning, humidity, and water, and plug and process loads.


Questions – Contact: Cedar Blazek,

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