Building the Future of Farming
The following is an excerpt from the Local Grown Salads Oxyfertigation Growing System patent.
Controlled Agriculture Environment
A Controlled Agricultural Environment (CAE) is intended to alleviate both risks associated with weather and insects. A CAE provides the optimal growing conditions throughout the development of the crop. Production takes place in a food grade environment. The key environmental variables include a) atmosphere (Temperature + Humidity (%RH) + Airflow +CO2), b) lighting (intensity, spectrum, interval), c) water, d) and nutrient delivery. A CAE is physically different from a greenhouse as the lighting is 100% artificial and the HVAC properties of the environment are similar to a clean room used in a semiconductor plant or a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. A properly constructed Growing Room connected to a properly selected HVAC component of our Growing Systems will provide the physical barrier to insects, pollen, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, airborne pathogens, and any other harmful airborne particle. The specific HVAC technology selected will provide the specific protection required for the growing environment needed.
Local Grown Salads Growing Systems
Our system is a Controlled Agriculture Environment contains five growing rooms, each containing 22 growing units. Each growing room is separately managed for Temperature and Humidity giving a perfect environment for the cultivar being grown. Kale likes its cooler than lettuce, who likes it cooler than Tomatoes who like it cooler than Basil. Thus each growing room has a specific temperature and humidity optimized for the type of plant or plants being grown. The growing room may have has a positive air pressure when compared to areas connected to it to ensure that no insects or contaminants can enter the growing room. In the growing room each growing unit is provided water, compressed air, CO2, and electricity. The growing units are connected wirelessly to an environmental control unit which manages the whole thing.
Environmental Control Unit
The Environmental Control Unit controls the Growing Units within the Growing Room. The Central Control System contains the algorithms for managing the Nutritional Formula for each of the Growing Units. The algorithms contain all the nutritional formulas specific to the plants in each Growing Unit. Remember, each growing unit can have a different plant at a different stage of growing and thus has different nutritional needs. The Environmental Control Unit manages the Growing Room HVAC System to receive temperature and humidity sensor data. In a natural light environment such as a Greenhouse or a field, the Environmental Control Unit will provide commands to ensure the Lighting Units can maximize any natural light available.(Its really cool watching the units adjust as the sun moves across the sky) This would be may be timed differently for each Growing Unit based on its position to address shadows falling on the plants.
The entire system can be connected directly via Ethernet, wire or other protocol, or wirelessly using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RF protocol or another protocol and so our systems can be managed no matter where they are in the world. They will always have the most up to date algorithms.
Some Details About The Growing Unit
The Growing Unit can be deployed in an uncontrolled inside environment (for example: a restaurant, a home, or a grocery store), a Controlled Agricultural Environment, a greenhouse or a high tunnel or “hoop” style greenhouse, or outside open to the elements (example: a backyard or a field).
When deployed inside, each Growing Unit comes with its own lighting fans to manage airflow and distribute CO2 to provide the best grow environment possible.
When harvesting, the Growing Unit shuts downs the various subsystems used for growing. The Growing Room temperature and humidity is adjusted to to slow plant respiration during harvesting thus increasing shelf life post-harvest.
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