Idea's for FC 2.0 Design (or enhancements to FC 1.0 design)


#1

The home food computer will need to be easy to fill/refill the water and flush the gray water out of. I was thinking of a design like this. It can leverage components sourced on Amazon, and can piggy back on the 12V power scheme of the FC1.0 design.

if the water line is 1/2 inch, then the left over black tubing purchased already can be leveraged as well. The solenoids cost around 14$, cheaper may be able to be found if we search hard enough. The fittings are around 5-6$.

Water sensors could be drilled into the sides at various heights. This could give you a sense of how much water has been drained and how much has been filled. These sensors are around 10-15$.

Thoughts?


#2

Be cautious with the solenoid valve choice. Some solenoid needs pressure ( from the water tap for instance) to open.
So the first valve will operate nicely, but I have some doubt on the second one.
I believe a better option would be to use peristaltic pump to fill and empty such as :


#3

Sounds like a great idea. How about connecting it to mains water with a regulator and then just flushing out to drainage? Save on the hassle of having to fill and empty the buckets… I’m no process engineer though so that may be harder than it sounds :wink:


#4

Agreed mains would make the most sense. However there is some reports in my reading that chlorinated water is not ideal for plant growing. There are options for reverse osmosis. … at this point I wanted to start in a simple fashion with some bottled/distilled water option.


#5

I read about that too. Chlorinated tab water is not the best option. One solution was to let the tab water stand in an open container for 24h and the chlorine will magically disappear :slight_smile:


#6

Or run the air pump in the water for 2 hours and it should be already pretty good


#7

Really? Well thats lot easier already :slight_smile:


#8

I have tried those pumps, and they are IMO a bit loud and did not pump as good as I expected. I’m waiting for my 3d-printer (should arrive on monday) and then try to print a peristaltic pump myself. I’m planning to use it to automatically adjust the PH of my solution.


#9

you can also look at an accumulator if you are looking for pressure above tap. on the aero side we use that to get up to 120PSI before the solenoid.


#10

@JoshSinykin: What are you trying to gain here ? Am I right that this is an automation process for something that takes place only once a month or so ?( I guess you do not replace the water during the growth cycle…)
And if you would use this system, I think you would still need to clean the container before filling it with new water, not ?
If it were a mere solution to empty the container more easily than it is now, I think you could just add some tubing with a splitter to the current water circulation pump. Use one direction for circulation and once a month you turn the tap so the water is send out of the container into a bucket or sewer.
Or is this a dumb idea ?


#11

This depends on irrigation method. Shallow water culture hydroponics (what the FC 1.0 is and what the FC 2.0 will be based on initially) just requires source water to “fill up” the reservoir and make up water over time that is taken by the plants or evaporates over time. The make up water will need to be conditioned (*IE for replacing nutrients and balancing PH). After the grow (which depends on crop type chosen ex 30 days for leafy greens +30 days for vinecrops) the reservoir would need to be emptied, cleaned and replaced.

The V2.0 will have a peristaltic pump array that can turn power on or off through the arduino that then link to a series of small liquid containers. That way you can choose the nutrients, ph balancing method and/or small amount of make up water that you want to add to the main growing reservoir.

Does that make sense?


#12

You might want to check this out, we’re having a blast using it. We liked the fact that it’s low maintenance and pretty cost effective.
this guy is great