Tag: Hydroponic system

Introduction Low Pressure Aeroponics

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What is Aeroponics VS Hydroponics>??

Let’s get some confusion out of the way. Aeroponics is a TYPE of Hydroponics! Hydroponics is growing method of growing plants in a water / air instead of traditional agriculture using a soil media.

Now there is TWO Subtypes of Aeroponics! Their main difference is the idea of high volume of nutrient solution at low pressure VS low volume of nutrient solution at high pressure. This is the Ideological difference between High Pressure VS Low Pressure Aeroponics.

The two systems types have many other types of differences but we discuss in other articles such as Low VS High Pressure Aeroponics (One of our most popular articles currently!) Today is about the Introduction of Low Pressure Aeroponics known widely as LPA

What is Low Pressure Aeroponics?

In general, Aeroponics is much different than other types of hydroponics. In other Hydroponic types, root systems are generally “in” hydroponic solution. While in Aeroponics, the roots are suspended in air and misted with nutrient solution on a regular basis. Low pressure aeroponics the roots are heavily misted and many times reach down into the nutrient solution reservoir. In LPA, pumps are selected more for higher water volume than pressure. The mist is course and larger in size.  

Basic LPA System Design

Low Pressure Aeroponic System Diagram

Root Chamber

Vertical Aeroponic towers greenhouse

Shape / Size:

The root chambers come in many different shapes & sizes. Most chambers are setup completely dependent on type of crop being grown. They can range from upright / horizontal pipes for small leafy greens OR very deep for large crops such as tomatoes. 

Aeroponic Net Pot Layout

Plant Net Basket Layout:

Net baskets are mostly used with hydroton media. They are generally layout based on the type / size of crop being grown. MORE spacing is of course is needed for larger plants.  

Nutrient Reservoir (Combined):

Sometimes the Root Chamber & Nutrient Reservoir are combined together. This is especially true for smaller home systems. So when they are combined the systems can be almost be both DWC & LPA as the roots will hang down into the solution. If they are not combined than the extra nutrient solution not uptaken by the roots will drain back to the reservoir for re-circulation.

Nutrient Reservoir

Nutrient Reservoir Examples

The reservoir is simply a storage area for already mixed nutrient solution between spraying cycles for Aeroponics. The reservoir like said above can be a separate part of the system many times. This is always true for larger systems but depends on design for small ones.  Larger nutrient reservoirs can add capacity between maintenance but require monitoring of pH and ppM levels. 

Pump (Nutrient solution)

Low Pressure Aeroponic Pump Example

Pump(s) are required to create pressure to spray the plants’ root systems. In Low Pressure Aeroponics, pumps are selected for high volume rather than high pressure. Size needs to be based on design of the system including overall size, number of nozzles, and more. For smaller home based systems, Pond Pumps are popular.  


Low Pressure Aeroponics Mist Spray

Nozzles need to create a good spray pattern to well coat the root systems. In Low Pressure Aeroponics, they are selected for pattern and higher volume. The nozzles will operate at low pressures such as 10-30PSI. 

Introduction to High Pressure Aeroponics

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History of Aeroponics

High Pressure Aeroponics (HPA) was developed by NASA looking for a growing system that used the least amount of resources and produced the most plant material. HPA was the ticket for NASA.

Basically the system of HPA is where plant roots are suspended in air with regular misting from high pressure nozzles. NASA found that nutrient solution mist droplets’ size best for plant uptake was 5 to 80 microns. This can be accomplished with HPA systems running at 80 to 150PSI depending on design. 

High Pressure Aeroponics Basics

HPA is the most complicated setup of all the hydroponic systems. The basic idea is plant’s root system is suspended in the air in a 100% humidity root chamber. This chamber has high-pressure nozzles that create 5 – 80 micron mist droplets. This is created with normally about 100PSI through high pressure / low flow nozzles. The mist is shot in bursts normally 3-10 seconds every so many minutes. It uses 70 to 80% fewer nutrients and 90% less water than other hydroponic systems. 

The results of High Pressure Aeroponics are amazing. Plants can take up more nutrients due to their high availability. Oxygen is required for nutrient uptake and this type of hydroponics provides the most oxygen to plant’s root systems. This high efficiency grows crops faster, increasing yields, and much more ecologically. 

High Pressure Aeroponics Setup

HPA systems basically must include a reservoir for nutrients, booster pump for pressure, cycle timer, pressure regulation, and mist nozzles. This basic aeroponic system basically works by the cycle timer turning on the pump at misting intervals. The pressure should be regulated to 80 to 120PSI depending on the nozzles you are using to create correct size range of droplets.   

Optional Improvement: Accumulator Tank

Adding an accumulator tank to the mix allows for way better quality and control over misting. Instead of the pump cycling every mist cycle, the pump charges up the accumulator tank. Generally 20% more than misting PSI level. The timer as seen below is connected to an NC (normally closed) electric valve instead of the pump. During a misting cycle, the timer activates the valve to open and feed the pressurized nutrient solution to the misting nozzles. 

High Pressure Aeroponics Basic Diagram of the System
High Pressure Aeroponics Basic Diagram of the System

Parts List

  • Reservoir: For holding nutrient solution
  • Booster Pump: For creating needed pressure.
  • Accumulator Tank: For holding pressurized nutrient solution to supply mist nozzles.
  • Pressure Relief Valve: Most important part as it is for safety. If the tank is ever over pressured by pump, pressure is relieved off the system so no BOOM! 
  • Pressure gauges: These are for monitoring pressure in the system. First gauge shows pressure in the tank. Second gauge shows what the regulator is regulating it to. 
  • Pressure Regulator: To regulate the pressure down from the tank to normally 80 to 120 PSI. 
  • NC Electric Valve: These are opened when a timer activates them and they allow pressurized solution to the misting nozzles. 
  • Cycle Timer: Time that activate a device in this case the NC Valve. Normally set to 3-6 seconds “On” to 3 – 6 minutes “Off”
  • Mist Nozzles: One of the most important parts. They need to have the correct size opening or “orifice.” Depending on the pressure being used. 
  • Root Chamber: This is where the plants roots are suspended and misted. Some people recirculate any solution that drips down. But many suggest “drain to waste” on extra solution. I believe dialing in your system for efficiency and “drain to waste” is best way to go.  

Advantages of High Pressure Aeroponics

  • Uses 90% less water than other hydroponic systems and soil growing. 
  • Using 70% to 80% less nutrients than other hydroponic system types. Even though the system costs more to install, its operating costs are cheaper in many ways. 
  • Most efficient method of growing when considering higher yields and greatly decreased crop turnover time.
  • Less chance of disease issues in plants as HPA is so clean.

In Conclusion

HPA is by far the most advanced and best hydroponic system. But it is not for everyone. We have a blog post that gives an overview of the different types of hydroponic systems (Click Here to view). 

At Hydro-Unlimited, we are reaching a dream we have had for a long time. This dream is the development of a full HPA system for production like every other hydroponic type has. Plus an offering of a DIY Kit for the building of an HPA system, that takes the extensive research requirements of building an HPA system away.