Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on November 5, 2012.
About this project
Our mission is to develop an affordable CEA vertical farming solution for urban growers entering the urban farming market. The design of our Aeroponic system uses a unique modular approach that will allow growers to fully customize the platform to their own unique needs. Our systems are designed specifically for the DIY'er small commercial grower who can not afford complicated vertical farming systems.
Growers will be able to quickly adapt to changing market conditions by changing the produce they grow to meet market demands. Our system is designed to grow everything from large herbs to microgreens using the same platform configuration.
Vertical Farming is a method of farming in which space is maximized by growing in tiers one on top of another.
Aeroponics is a method of growing plants by feeding the root system with a finely atomized mist while the roots are suspended in air. This allows additional oxygen to reach the roots maximizing their growth rate.
CEA is a method of growing plants in a controlled environment where temperature, humidity, C02, PH and nutrients are all controlled to exact specifications.
How Our System Works
The Indoor Harvest™ Modular Aeroponic System has five main components that when combined make the system the most modular platform on the market today.
The Aero Tray
The foundation of the system is the aeroponic tray. The trays are spun molded from FDA approved high-density polyethylene. Each tray is 48" X 96" X 12" and offers 32 square feet of growing space. The trays can be stacked, set side by side or in any configuration the user wants. Growers can utilize any manner of structural support or stacking method. By having a standard 48" X 96" foot print, most industrial framing methods will work. We recommend the Unistrut brand metal framing system however for it's strength, low cost and ease of use.
The Spray Manifold
Inside the tray are connections for a nutrient spray manifold. These connections allow for a wide variety of configurations. Manifolds can be provided for low pressure aeroponics (LPA), high pressure aeroponics (HPA) and even air assisted aeroponics (AAA). Users can even design their own manifolds because the entire system is based on standard plumbing fittings. This is a huge benefit for those who want to conduct R&D and explore a wide range of growing methods.
The Grow Lids
The aeroponic trays are designed to accept any kind of lid design a growers imagination can come up with. Using a standard 4' X 8" sheet of high-density polyethylene, any number of hole combinations can be created for use with a wide variety of net pots. Users can even design their own lids from Styrofoam to polyester batting. By building a simple wooden frame fibrous materials can be stretched and secured to create a medium to grow micro-greens allowing the system a wide variety of growing options.
The Booster Manifold
The booster manifold connects to the nutrient spray manifold using bulkhead fittings in the aeroponic tray. The booster manifold consists of a high pressure diagram pump, accumulator and solenoid valves. This manifold is for use in high pressure applications for better atomization. When configured for low pressure aeroponics, the tray can simply be connected to a standalone reservoir and submerged pump for a recirculating system configuration.
The Nutrient Mixing and Delivery System
Last but not least, is the Indoor Harvest™ Nutrient Mixing and Delivery System. This is a stand alone system that provides R/O filtration and mixes the nutrient solution using mechanical dosers. The system can be configured for up to six individual fertilizer products. The system reservoir is chilled and aerated for maximum oxygen saturation. The system can be provided with a variety of pump options depending on the number and configuration of aero trays used. When used in a commercial setting, growers can have multiple mixing systems that provide a facility with a variety of nutrient options.
We Need Your Help Kickstarter!!
We've personally invested over two years of research and approximately $45K to develop our prototype and conduct tests. We have come to Kickstarter to help push us across the finish line so that we can provide this affordable, DIY modular system to urban growers.
We recently found a new company that can manufacture our aero trays for half the price we currently are paying. This would allow us to make an already affordable system even more affordable. The problem is we need to completely re-tool to take advantage of the new manufacturing process. Our current estimated MSRP for our trays would be $700, with new tooling we anticpate that we can drop that price down to $350. That would allow us to sell systems configured for low pressure setups as low as $1,200 each. This would put us into a position to compete directly with the big name manufactures on the market today. We would be able to provide urban growers with a high quality commercial vertical farming system for a price comparable to today's hobby systems.
We can also provide even more savings by having tooling done to mass produce our spray manifolds. Currently our manifolds are hand built using standard PVC pipe and fittings. By tooling these manifolds for injection molding we can significantly drop the cost.
We've estimated that we need approximately $15,000 to cover re-tooling costs. So we have setup a Kickstarter funding campaign of $30,000 which will cover the costs of our rewards and provide the capital we need to complete tooling.
If we are fortunate enough to raise above our campaign amount, we are making a pledge to everyone that any additional money will go towards R&D that we will continue to share with everyone as we have already done. We want to make this an open source effort because that's the way it should be.
Help us bring our system to market. We just need a little help and we can get there!
Help us Tool up!!
Risks and challenges
We believe the risks associated with completing tooling are minimal. We are able to show proof of concept at this stage in development and have documented our efforts on Facebook. We have a marketable product now, but we want to lower the cost to the consumer as much as possible.
We have adequate funds to develop our official web site and begin marketing our products. We however are short on the funding needed to re-tool our system to take advantage of cheaper manufacturing. We have to do one or the other, but we can't do both. That's where we hope Kickstarter can help.
The money that is provided will be spent right here in the United States helping provide jobs. We use only American manufacturing to build our components. We are a Made in the USA company.
We have been documenting all of our progress on Facebook and will continue to do so. What makes our design so unique is that it's based on a DIY concept. We plan to make all our components available separately allowing growers the ability to customize and build systems that fit their needs and budget.
Kickstarter, please help us tool-up so we can bring the most affordable commercial aeroponic system to the market!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (30 days)