Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Vertical System

Old system is gone to clear space for junk in the garage. Built a vertical design with the idea that it takes less floor space. In fact, a vertical tower provides a rate of 6 cups/ square feet, while the old system only 1.3cups/square feet. That is 5 times better space usage.
I built two towers with 28 cups each, out of square profile PVC posts and 45 degrees 1-1/4" PVC elbows.
Each tower rotates on its axis by an AC synchronous motor, about 6 rpm at motor shaft to optimize light distribution.
Pivot design differ in each tower. First tower I used a central pivot with a simple axle and nylon bushing. Second tower built uses a ball bearing at bottom, known as "Lazy Susan". Second design requires better vertical alignment for proper operation, so I would stick with the bushing design for its simplicity.
Pump flow is limited due to height it needs to deliver, but not much is needed for providing enough nutrients. I'm using one pump with a splitter but because the towers are not level (for some reason I set the frst tower lower) and have issues to equalize flow to each tower. I would use one pump per tower to avoid this issue, even with leveled towers.
Nutrient reservoir is the same I saved from previous system, about 25gals. I'm still using flora grow, micro and bloom mix. I also add some CalMag to supplement extra Calcium and Magnesium.
Here are some photos.