System Integration and examples

Prerequisites to running one or many aponix barrels

The aponix barrel is meant to be integrated into an existing circulation system or facility as a growing component. Which means, it can not be run independently. In the following we describe the required prerequisites to integrate one or more aponix barrels into an existing circulation system.

Required…
Included and not included

  • … is an existing nutrient cycle either using hydroponics (with mineral fertilizer) or aquaponics (using organic fertilizer from fish).
  • … is a suitable pressure pump to power the included spray nozzle in your aeroponic barrels delivering the nutrient solution at a pressure of 2-5 bar. The newer Version 2.0 can be operated with drip irrigation.
  • … is a suitable lighting situation for your plants to thrive either using natural sunlight from a greenhouse or artificial plant lighting.
  • … are all other surrounding conditions for optimal plant growth, depending on your crop like air and root temperature, availability of CO2, sufficient aeration, shading if necessary and adequate protection from pest.
  • … is a plumbing solution to return the liquid to your cycle exiting at the bottom of the barrels to your sump or reservoir preferably just by using gravity.

The aponix barrel can be utilized as planting equipment to set up many grow spaces quickly in an existing circulation system. The example setup below with its 1m wide aisles provides an average of >60 plants per sqm!

 

One example for a possible facility design

The net density of plants in your cultivation area that can be achieved using our vertical modular barrel is depending on the design of your facility. It depends on the planned height of the barrels your production setup and the actual production process. One example:

Bigger setups, arraning aeroponic barrels in rows

This sketch is also the basis for the rendering you can see in the slideshow on top of the page. Facility design depends very much on the individual circumstances and preconditions of the site.

 

Another example using a 30x60m (1800sqm) greenhouse

Here is another raw sketch that as an example of a cultivation area setup using aponix vertical barrels:
Greenhouse 30x60m example using aponix vertical barrels.

We left a space of 1m from the glass all around the production. The orange areas are the main production lines where the barrels are set up.

On the bottom right we see the more detailed view of a orange area. The yellow lines represent the gutter or liquid lines back to the reservoir. The liquid exiting the barrels on the bottom just falls into the gutter and travels back by gravity using a slope of 1-2%. The idea is to be able to change the distance of the barrels between each other any time it is necessary, increasing or decreasing the density of barrels.

As a result we have +27 barrels for a production line that runs half through the greenhouse (+54 barrels along the whole 58m long, 1,5m wide line), assuming we would have a larger center pathway in between the 2 blocks. You find more detailes metrics in handwriting on the sketch. We also assumed, that this greenhouse is only used for the cultivation of plants and that packaging, cooling, storage, reservoir etc is located somewhere else.

The big variables with which can be played in this setup is:
a) The number of barrels because the distance between them in a line is flexible, and
b) the height of the barrels which we assumed 12 ring segments (each 15cm high plus 25cm for lid and base combined) by just adding more ring segments resulting in higher barrels.

The area would host ~650 barrels holding 93600 grow spaces using 12 ring segments (=144 grow spaces) per barrel.

 

Some more setup examples:

 

Bildschirmfoto 2017-01-26 um 15.31.39

Example setup for a small urban farm. This is just the cultivation area.

 

Bildschirmfoto 2017-03-17 um 10.02.21

Urban farm setup for 20 vertical barrels with 2 independent nutrient lines.