Advanced Hydroponic Technologies

State Renewable Energy designs and builds custom environments that integrate the use of advanced hydroponic technologies.  State Renewable Energy also specializes in designing hydroponic labs and classrooms for schools and other educational institutions.  Hydroponic systems can be used to grow fruits and vegetables for food production and even ornamental plants and flowers for aesthetic indoor landscapes.  A benefit of hyrdroponic technologies is they allow for fruits and vegetables to be grown locally and sustainably using up to 96% less water and less space than traditional agriculture.  These technologies can provide sustainable agriculture in remote locations where natural resources are scarce and in highly populated urban locations where land is limited.

Components of a Hydroponic System

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Hydroponics is the process of growing plants in a nutrient solution without soil.  There are a variety of Hydroponic Technologies available that can be used to grow plants in a soilless environment including Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), Deep Flow Technique (DFT), Aquaponics, and Aeroponics.  Although each of these methods differ from one another, they each rely on supplying the growing plants with a solution containing the necessary nutrients plants typically receive from soil.

 

When seeds are planted in soil, the soil keeps the seeds in place while they germinate and begin to sprout.  In a soilless environment, the seeds are planted in a Growing Medium to help keep the growing plants in place.  Growing mediums, also called growing substrates, come in many varieties of materials including coconut fiber, peat moss, gravel, expanded clay aggregate, rockwool, vermiculite, and foam sponges.

 

Plants need light, water, and nutrients for growth.  Plants use light for photosynthesis, the process by which plants generate their own food.  When plants receive light, the green pigment in their leaves, called chlorophyll, causes the plant to absorb energy.  Plants use that energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose, the sugars it uses for food.  In addition to light and water, plants need nutrients for proper growth.  There are seventeen essential nutrients for plant health including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

 

There are a wide variety of plants that can be grown hydroponically from leafy greens to ornamental plants.  Leafy green plants, such as lettuce, grow very well in hydroponic environments because of their extremely high water content.  In addition, herbs such as basil, mint, dill, lemon balm, oregano, and lavender and fruits such as strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers can be grown in hydroponic systems.  Ornamental plants that can be grown include Boston fern, selaginella, begonia, and aloe.

 
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Advanced Hydroponics for STEM Education

By: Amber Bosket

This interactive, digital book teaches advanced hydroponics through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects such as plant biology, chemistry, and physics.  Designed for use with OPCOM Farm hydroponic systems, this STEM resource introduces students to the science behind hydroponic technologies to provide workforce skills students need for future high tech jobs.

Video: "Advanced Hydroponics for STEM Education"

The digital book "Advanced Hydroponics for STEM Education" is an example of STEM-based, interactive content for a touchscreen interface.  This video displays the interactive features and content within the book.  Designed for the iPad, its engaging, multi-touch features deliver a "hands-on" educational experience.

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Greenhouse Hydroponics

Crops grown hydroponically inside of greenhouses are able to utilize natural sunlight for plant growth.  When using natural light, greenhouse crops can be grown in single layers or in pyramid forms.  Supplemental artificial light can be used to enhance growth or allow for stacked growing configurations.  In addition, electricity needs for greenhouse hydroponics can be provided by solar energy.  Some unique thin-film solar technologies allow high infrared and red light to transmit through the solar module, making it a sustainable technology for use in greenhouse roofing structures.

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Lights for Indoor Growing

Artificial lighting is a necessary component to container farms and other indoor growing environments that do not have access to natural sunlight.  There are a variety of artificial lighting technologies that are able to provide a wide spectrum of light for growing plants.  LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are an energy efficient source of light capable of providing the lighting needs of many plant varieties.  In addition, LED lights can be customized to provide a specific spectrum of light to give plants the optimum lighting they need for different stages of the plant growth cycle.

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Hydroponics for Urban Farming

Hydroponic farming is a way to grow food locally.  Local farming helps reduce the transportation of food over long distances which reduces the use of fossil fuels as well as associated pollution.  In addition, hydroponic technologies use significantly less water than traditional farming methods and can be used in places with limited resources and limited space to help increase food security and food sustainability.  As urban populations grow, the need to produce more food will grow and hydroponic technologies can be a way to provide food, jobs, and economic diversification.

Indoor Agriculture STEM Lab

We design immersive STEM learning environments that integrate a variety of indoor agriculture technologies.  This video displays a STEM Classroom that we have developed as an example of an immersive learning environment featuring hydroponic technologies.  Powered by renewable energy and designed to engage the student to feel completely surrounded by what they are learning, this STEM classroom is a simulated environment that can be built as well as visited virtually through advanced camera technology, virtual and augmented reality, and distance education.

About Us


State Renewable Energy provides consultation and design services for renewable energy applications as well as STEM-based trainings and instructional services for k-12 and higher education. We use advanced technologies to integrate the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable practices into our projects. Thinking ahead, we always look for effective ways to incorporate sustainability into everyday life. We stay on top of the latest developments, constantly researching new ideas in order to provide our clients with the best opportunities available.

Every project is approached with a combination of knowledge, experience, and innovation.  With an emphasis on education, our goal is to enable people to become environmentally responsible and live sustainably.

Contact Us


Office: (877) 944-7749

Email: contact@staterenewableenergy.com