It was really exciting to see the Oregon State University ESE (Energy Systems Engineering) students growing a nice crop of Buttercrunch lettuce in the PFC v.2.0 that they built. We have had success with a passive cooling system (air circulation and flushing only), and we’ve only needed to use a DC water conditioner (with a chiller) for regulating the hydro environment.
We have been collaborating on this project since late September of last year, and we’re making our way down the home-stretch into that final month of the Capstone Design project. We may try to squeeze in one last crop (the seedlings are about 1 week old now).
Of course, it has been quite an uphill climb with the learning curve, and we’re still trying to get the UI to integrate properly with the sensors. At least this project has been totally chock full of successes, and any minor “set-backs” we faced along the way have really been great “lessons” and “teaching moments” for us all.
This project will serve us in a great capacity, as we’re learning more than we previously knew through building an automated growing chamber. Our next steps will be inspired and informed by the lessons learned from this experience.