Aeroponics can grow plants using up to 98% less water and 60% less fertiliser than traditional methods whilst growing healthier plants with no pesticides. (^NASA)
In collaboration with EcoSwell, (a charity in Lobitos, Peru) I am developing an aeroponics system for locals to grow lettuce with minimal water in a desert-like environment. The community can sell their fast growing 'cash crops' as an additional income or to suplement their unbalanced diet.
I will be flying to Lobitos at the end of March 2017 to see how the community interact with my prototypes.
Inexpensive PP sheet holds plants from germination through to maturity. Small plants shown above are 18 days old.
Growing with my own Aeroponic system using an ultrasonic transducer to vaporise the nutrient solution.
Concept for final housing and early method for atomising water using commercially abundant trigger spray bottles.
Growing with my modified IKEA hydroponics setup to test the affect on plant growth in different conditions.
Reviewing 30 years of NASA Aeroponic literature.
(excluding hydroponic books and online resources)
AEROPONICS INTERNATIONAL. A High performance, Gravity Intensive, Enclosed Aeroponic System for Food Production in Space with Terrestrial Applications. 1998
BARTA. J. The Biomass Production System for the Bioregenrative Planetary Live Support Systems Test Complex. 1999
DHUMAL. R. S. Design and Development of Rotary Peristaltic Pump. 2012
WHEELER. R.M. Crop Production for Advanced Life Support Systems. 2006
NAGAYETS O. Small Farms: Current Status and Key Trends. 2005
NAGENDRA. N. P. Systems Analysis and Evaluation of Greenhouse Modules within Moon/mars Habitats. 2012
PUTERA. P. Development and Evaluation of Solar-Powered Instrument for Hydroponic Systems in Limapuluh Kota, Indonesia. 2015STONER. R. Aeroponics Versus Bed and Hydroponic Propagation. 1983
Concept D chosen by EcoSwell charity in Lobitos, Peru.
Concept D is manufactured using only vacuum forming and laser cutting (inexpensive processes for low cost production).
Concept D, vacuum forming the base (HIPS) and lid (PETG).
The CNC milled MDF mould included a 7˚ draft angle for vacuum formed part removal and product collapsibility for low cost transport to Peru.
Trimming the base to the correct height using a diamond wheel.
Laser cutting the front and back PETG panels.
12v miniature submersible pump used to spray roots through a silicon tube for 3 seconds every 10 minutes, 24/7.
Salts in the nutrient solution buildup in one month breaking the 12v submersible pump.
A laser-cut peristaltic pump concept was chosen since the motor does not contact the solution.
Testing the peristaltic pump principle.
9 month project management.
This project is currently under development...