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TECHNOLOGY

TECHNOLOGY
TECHNOLOGY

 

2018 Indiana Innovation Award Winner: Heliponix from Engage Video on Vimeo.

 

   Hydroponics is defined as growing plants without soil. Aeroponics is a hyper efficient form of hydroponics that mists the roots of the plants as opposed to submerging the roots in a nutrient reservoir. This is considerably more space efficient and food safe when implemented on a vertical tower to maximize the amount of plants being grown in a small footprint, and minimizing the risk root rot. Root rot occurs in hydroponic systems that are not able to deliver sufficient oxygen to the plants. Indoor growing systems do not require pesticides, because the plants are kept away from pests such as insects that often feed on field crops.

      Additionally, the Heliponix™ GroPod™ uses targeted LEDs (light emitting diodes) to only emit the necessary light spectrums needed to grow your favorite produce represented by the peaks of the physiospec light spectrum chart below. This results in the Heliponix GroPod's unsurpassed yields through our patented, rotary aeroponic™ design for a fraction of energy consumed to grow organic produce compared to any other system on the market. 

Optimal LED Light Spectrum for Photosynthesis

Image result for par graph

      Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) refers to one way of measuring the range of light wavelengths (400–700 nanometers [nm]) that can be used for photosynthesis (see absorption range for photosynthesis chart above). This range covers the visible spectrum of light, which includes red (700–635 nm), orange (635–590 nm), yellow (590–560 nm), green (560–490 nm), blue (490–450 nm), and violet (450–400 nm) wavelengths. Plants obtain the most light energy from the red, blue, and violet portions of the spectrum because these wavelengths are the most readily absorbed by chlorophyll, the main pigment in plants. 

       Light is the major environmental variable used to drive photosynthesis in plants. However, if temperature, humidity, CO2, nutrient, or media-moisture levels are outside the optimum range for the plant species you are growing, photosynthesis will be limited. Cultivation under high photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) using LED technology is a breakthrough technique, and depending on the varieties of plants selected, there will be  environmental variables that need to be adjusted in order to achieve your cultivation goals. We understand that each species requires different environmental conditions to optimize plant growth; Fortunately the machine learning API behind each Heliponix GroPod quantifies these variables, and automates these processes for you with simple instructions to follow on your mobile device. 

                               

Yield Data

According to the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lettuce requires at least 40 inches of spacing between rows with 12 inches of space between heads of lettuce.  With a square acre plot being used in this analysis (~208 feet by ~208 feet), a grand total of about 12,300 heads of lettuce are grown in a square acre.

     The GroPod holds 50 heads of leafy greens at a time, or about 600 heads of lettuce harvested annually. Assuming an acre of lettuce farm land is only being harvested once a year, then a GroPod is equivalent to about 5% of an acreage output. 

    There a 43,560 square feet in an acre, 5% of this is 2,178 square feet. The GroPod consumes 4 square feet. This means that the GroPod is over 500X more efficient use of space compared to a conventional soil growing operation for lettuce limited to a single harvest per year.

 

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