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Zero Gravity Garden







How it Works

The hydroponic system works by rotating the plants on the inside of a large drum around a central light source, sequentially dipping each growing tray in the large trough of nutrient solution in the base. The porous rockwool medium in which the plants are grown soaks up this nutrient solution to feed them.

An array of sensors relay data to the microcontroller; the PH of the nutrient solution, water level, the ambient temperature and humidity, and the positional data of the rotating drum. Various parameters can be tuned using the rotary encoders such as brightness, the circadian duty cycle and the frequency at which the plants are watered. A heating element and a PID control loop keep temperature constant.

I conducted a thermal flow simulation to model the heat dissapation from the 4 50W LEDs and their constant current power supply aswell as the airflow from the fans.

Why Zero Gravity?

The hydroponic system rotates the plants constantly through their lifetime, resulting in a net force of 0N. This stops the plants geotropism from working (the biological mechanism by which plants always grow towards the strongest light source) and causes them to grow equally in all directions, increasing the volume to yield ratio.

CAD Process