Food production systems of the future will need to maximize available space in ways that traditional farming can’t. I’ve designed this concept with that in mind: an ultra high yield solar powered vertical aquaponics system that maximizes crop yield per square foot.
I’ve made this concept available under an OPEN SOURCE license for anyone to improve upon, modify, and use for producing organically grown food in their local area. The ultimate goal of building and improving this system is getting as close as possible to an annual crop yield of 1 Million pounds of organically grown food per acre.
EXPERIMENTAL ULTRA HIGH YIELD SOLAR POWERED VERTICAL AQUAPONICS SYSTEM
UP TO 20 TIMES THE CROP YIELD PER SQUARE FOOT (or more): This system could theoretically produce 20 times or more annual food yield per square foot of land than flat farming row crops.
100sqft FOOTPRINT: Each module covers a horizontal area of only 100 square feet, which means almost anyone can build one of these modules in their back yard without taking up much space at all.
2000 square foot VERTICAL GROW AREA: Each module has a vertical grow area of 2000 square feet.
VERTICAL AQUAPONICS SYSTEM: This system is a vertical aquaponics/aeroponics hybrid system used to grow fresh fruits, veggies, and fish. The water is circulated using a pump in the ground tank, up through the piping, and down over the planters. The water is filtered through the plants, and the fish waste provides the needed nutrients for the plants to grow.
5200 PLANTERS: The system can fit up to 5200 plants per unit (depending on the plant and spacing).
ULTRA HIGH-DENSITY VERTICAL GROWING: Growing vertically allows you to grow more plants per square foot than traditional growing. The unit stands 10 feet tall and we reduce the amount of space between plants to increase the number of plants per square foot vertically and horizontally.
GROW POCKETS & CUPS: (experimental) It uses a hanging vertical pocket/cup system that practically removes the need for growth medium. In a sense it’s a combination of aeroponics and hydroponics, except the watering/filter system is natural and there is no rocks, gravel, or clay grow media to weigh down the system.
SCALABILITY: A large part of making this system work is the ability to scale the system up in order to produce even more food. Ultimately, the goal is 1 million pounds of organically grown food per acre.
MAXIMUM SUNLIGHT: Plants need sunlight, water, and nutrients to grow. This system is designed to provide all 3 in a system with a tiny, 100 square foot footprint.
24V SOLAR POWER SYSTEM: One 250 Watt solar panel will power a single water pump and charge a 24V battery system.
YEAR-ROUND GROWING: The system is designed to be covered with clear plastic sheeting during winter months, converting the system itself into a greenhouse.
OPEN SOURCE: The design will be released to the public under a Creative Commons OPEN SOURCE share and share alike non-commercial license.
I’m Open Sourcing my design so others (universities, educational institutions, companies, farmers, growers and individuals) can use the system to help increase their yield, modify the design, improve on the design, and or use it to produce crops for commercial sale. The only thing you CAN’T do with my design is sell the design itself or patent it. Since it’s been released under a creative commons share and share alike license, anyone who uses the design MUST make the design available for everyone to use under the same license, or they break the license agreement.
PROJECTED SINGLE MODULE YIELD: (YEAR ROUND GROWING = 4 Harvests) Each module can grow up to 5200 Plants Per Unit/Per Harvest. Yield will be determined in large part by the types of crops grown in the system.
This system is experimental and the first system will dictate the specs and total crop yield after the first harvest. The project will last a full year (approximately 4 harvests to give us an idea of average yield going forward into the future.)
2250 GALLON IN GROUND GROW TANK/POND: The fish grow tank/pond is 2250 gallons. Each tank can hold 1 fish per 2 gallons. That’s 1125 fish, at 1.5 pounds average harvest size. That equates to 1687.5 pounds of fish.
(NOTE: We’d also like to design a portable unit which has an above ground tank, however the costs for the tank, nearly doubles the entire system cost.)
GROWING LOCAL: Anyone can set one of these systems up in their local community and grow food for themselves and their community, or start a business selling organic food.
You could also simply build one in your backyard and grow your own food.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.