Key Features

Key features of the aponix 3D-NFT platform:

  • Shape: vertical cylinders (‘barrels’). No fixed/blocking 2D stacked structures like racks.
  • Preferanbly used in greenhouses using natural sunlight. Artificial lighting with LED stripes or with rotating barrels.
  • Also usable outside. Hidden feature of optional stainless steel ring hooks to tighten the top lid using three ribbons or strings.
  • Barrel surface for cultivation and plant spacing is configurable using lego like parts.
  • For soilless use based on standard, globally available 2-inch net pots. Grow space diameter is 5cm.
  • Height for each vertical barrel in a production line is variable. Stack as many ring segments as you wish. Here are some installation/integration examples.
  • Depending on the ideal integration setup for your case the aponix vertical barrel platform can be integrated with closed bases or open bases, from which the liquid drains directly back into circulation. Also the closed bases can be interconnected with hoses and valves so the combined liquid content from all of your bases can be used as a master reservoir. In this case your pump draws liquid from one master base and the others provide their liquid. This is for example different using a TowerGarden, where each tower uses only its own liquid and pump (!). This makes it very easy to integrate the aponix system into an existing aquaponic circulation.
  • Positioning and number of vertical barrels used for production is variable. Ideally they are arranged in lines (see example setups) and just drain the liquid on the bottom. Nutrients are managed at a central point.
  • Aponix helps with the setups but does not provide other parts you will need to set up a fully functional production facility. The aponix vertical barrel starts where your ‘hose’ provides liquid and ends where the liquid drains on the bottom base. Circulation, fertilizer management, greenhouse, sales of produce etc is up to you.
  • Vertical irrigation by gravity. Inside wing structure directs liquid evenly to root areas of inserted plants. Irrigation stays same regardless of height.
  • The roots hang freely inside the 57 diameter vertical cylinder and can not clog the system and are exposed to oxygen all the time. This might be important for longer term crops or herbs like mint or even basil you intend to harvest leaves from regularly and that have much larger root systems compared to lettuce or faster cycling crops.
  • During operation it is possible to reach and inspect the inside any time through the top or through an integrated revision part.
  • You provide pre-grown seedlings ideally already grown in the right sized net pots. You are flexible using the medium and 2″ net pots of your choice.
  • Aponix does not provide nutrients. We assume users have enough horticulture knowledge on what nutrients their plants need and how to manage them. You can use any nutrients as long as they come in a liquid form – mineral, organic, extra-terrestrial ;).
  • No moving or complex parts.
  • No full disassembly required for cleaning. Use power washer on 2-4 still stacked ring segments to cover all areas. No dead corners or parts flying/lying around.
  • Parts can be stored and shipped in a very compact way.
  • Highest material quality possible, UV durability, hardness, longevity.
  • Plant density: We recommend to plan for 2.5-3sqm per vertical barrel.
  • Reminder: If you apply 2D cultivation thinking and methods, you probably end up with what you expected. For 3D cultivation you need to know your crops very well and plan for what they need to generate expected yield. Example: If UV radiation is at the threshold to deficient for your 2D cultivation area and you apply the same radiation to a 3D setup where you have many more plants in very different positions. Guess what the result will be. Even more, more deficient plants.
  • No need to repeat the benefits of CEA (much less water, no herbicides, no run-off, 365 day production etc).
  • Metrics:
    • Diameter of a vertical barrel is always 57cm.
    • Flow rate per vertical barrel ~2l/min.
    • We always use 6 of our adapter parts to assemble one ring segment.
    • A ring segment is 15cm high.
    • Plant spacing at the most dense configuration is: left-right 15cm, up-down 30cm to the next grow space. Use spacers for larger plants.
    • Example barrel: 12 ring segments (built from 72 adapter parts) plus top lid irrigation and base provides 144 grow spaces and is 2m high. if you add 2 more ring segments height (you need 12 more adapter parts) will be 2.3m providing 168 grow spaces. Irrigation does not change.
    • Please think in CAPEX per grow space: If you spent 500EURs for a vertical barrel providing 144 grow spaces, each grow space is around 4EURs. You will need to add the cost of your greenhouse and OPEX. But for the equipment, you might well be able to break even after 12 months (other equipment 1-2 years). And please remember the longevity of the parts when you compare aponix to other equipment. The material is supposed to have double the UV resistance than ABS. You can look that up.
    • Flow rate for the sprinkler per barrel is 1-2l/min.
    • You operate it on a timer depending on atmosphere. Example: 10min irrigation during the day every hour.