Help me with the water circulation process. From where & how is the water circulated to the plants?
Can you be more specific? The FC uses what is called a “float” system. The plants float on a raft made of rigid material that is sold as an insulation material but is being used in the FC for the reason that it floats and is an inert substance that won’t contaminate the water or the plants (which i take on faith since i have no ability to asses this assumption). The water is placed in a tub (a food grade container made of plastic) and does not circulate out of that tub. An air stone is placed in the tub and attached to an air pump. This oxengates the water. In addition a submersible pump is place in the tub. This pump maintains a water current (or maybe chaotic flows depending upon the size of your pump) in the tub. I think the purpose of the pump is keep dead pockets of still water from accumulating in the root zone but not sure.
More information please
@ferguman Thank you for clearing up the concept. I’m still in the understanding phase of how the FC works. Had been stuck with this water circulation process. Thanks again.
I am not sure if the insulation is intended to ‘float’ on the water… imho the insulation seals the air above the water and therefor you create and atmosfere of high humidity (mist) that feeds the roots. I don’t think the roots are intended to be ‘in the water’ though.
As these are assumptions I guess it would be helpful if someone of the orginal designers would comment on this…
The foam is intended to be a float as well as an insulator for this system. This food computer uses shallow water culture hydroponics so you want to make sure the bottom of the horticubes / roots (when they get big enough) are immersed in the water. The method where the roots are misted is called aeroponics and is super cool but more complex to build. The water circulation pump is intended to create a uniform water environment.
Thank you for clearing this @jake ! If the water circulation pump’s only inted is to uniform the water, why is it permanently ON ? Shouldn’t a quick activation of a couple of minutes every hour be sufficient for that matter ?
Yep that’s a great idea! If you have a free AC relay port, that could work just fine! That didn’t get included into the v1 build simply because it was another thing to have to control and it was simpler to just plug it in. Another cool thing to check out is called a Powerswitch Tail. It makes switching AC components super easy to do.