Space constraint has always been a challenge for all the urban farmers. With today’s urban jungle getting bigger and bigger, available space has been getting smaller and smaller. The challenge for xFarm Tech, to design a space saving aquaponic setup to minimize space usage and maximize yield. The idea was conceptualized with the diagram below:
I have engaged the help of my cousins, Allan and Wally, to make the concept a reality, and with more drawing and planning, we have finalized what is needed to proceed.
The drawings details a closed loop setup where we will have a main fish tank of 1200 Liters with a solids lifting overflow (SLO) going to the filtration stage. The filtration stage comprises of a vortex filter to remove solids and then a biological filter stage where K1 media is used. The output of the biofilter is then fed to the grow bed where a bell siphon controls the level of the water going back to the sump tank. The closed loop uses one water pump to circulate the water at the rate of about 4000L/h. The water is circulated at the rate of 2 times an hour, given that the water volume for the main tank, filters, growben and sump is about 2000 Liters.
The water pump and air pump are both 24Vdc so that to make use of a backup power supply of 24Vdc batteries that are charged by an wind generator. There are two 12V 12Ah sealed lead acid battery that can power the whole system for 10 hours. The generator charging the batteries is a 300W 24Vdc vertical wind generator that is connected to Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controller. Smart switches are also installed to monitor and remotely control the circuit breaker and switches.
The total AC power consumption of the whole system is less than 100W which is monitored by sonoff smart switches. The smart switches can be configured for IFTTT to automate tasks like alerting when a switch is on or off.
The LED lighting for the grow bed are T5 size of 9W each. There are 10 LED T5 bulbs parallel to each other to cover the length of the grow bed. The LED bulbs are controlled with smart switches and have a 10 hour schedule to be powered on from 8am to 6pm. The total power consumption is monitored by the smart switch which is 90W with about 1kWh consumed per day.