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kytaez

DIY Aeroponics DTW

23 posts in this topic

Hi uk420rs!

It's been some time I was thinking to switch to Aeroponics. So after a research I decided to build a system for 4 large plants for scrog. 

 As I understand it, to get a 20-50 micron droplets I must have following:

1. Nutrients tank

2. High pressure water pump 

3. Accumulator tank (expansion vessel)

4. Pressure switch (for pump)

5. Solenoid valve and timer for it

6. Anti-drip misting nozzles (0.3-0.4mm orifice)

7. Root chambers 

That's most of it covered.... 

Obviously there loads of tubing, connection fittings, filter, dreinage and all sorts of little things that also cost money :(

 So far I purchased :

Aquatec 8800 (24v 125psi pump),

Small (0.7L) expansion vessel,

Aquatec pressure switch 100psi,

24v solenoid valve,

Timer ON time 0.5-10sec. OFF time 0.5-45min.

Anti-drip misting nozzles (still ain't delivered from China),

100mesh filter for aquariums,

Some 3/8 tubing and fittings and some 1/4 too.

 Main goal of building this system is to get white fluffy roots that in theory better than any other type :unsure:

I also would do my best to achieve a near silent operation of the things trying to squeeze noisy parts into a concrete chamber filled with acoustic material....

 

My plan is to use 2 big black storage boxes (84L each) as a root chambers accomodating 2 plants each. 

Probably will install 2 misters for a box and see how they work and amount of the nutrient solution I'm going through to decide on size of nutrient tank. 

 Will try and post some build pictures as I progress ;)

 I'm sure there is few knowledgeable people on here who can guide me away from making beginners mistakes. Any advice and suggestions are appreciated! Cheers!

 

 

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Any news or photos for this project?

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I know Upton was planning a similar system, but don't know how hes getting on with it. he aint been on for a while

 

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Hello there!

Most of the parts got delivered so i put it all together to test

its looking like this atm:

large.IMG_20171015_172337.jpg

 

For some reason the pressure switch doesnt turn the pump off. I will have to get a pressure gauge to see if its a pump aint strong enough or the pressure switch are at fault.

The other thing is that misters keep spraying about 6-7 secs after solenoid valve cuts the feed :( not good at all!

Im ordering another solenoid to try remedy this.

Cheers!

 

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Looks pretty complicated to me, but I'm a mere simpleton, an air stone or spray bar is enough for me. ;lol

 

Would it make that much difference if it sprayed for an extra 6-7 seconds? Is it maybe just the remaining water in the lines being purged?, and could you not set the timer to reduce it by this amount? If memory serves me I think Upton was gonna use a separate air tank/ compressor. I tried a search but cant find his original post

I'm not very clued up on these things, just throwing ideas out there, but you can probably tell :) 

Are you clued up on electronics? I presume you are before you have got this far, but if not, do you know any electronic gurus who may be able to help, or post the question on an electronic forum, but obviously disguise what you are using it for.

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They`re not as complicated as they look but a pressure gauge is a must ;)

The aquatec could be at the factory setting of 80psi, if it is it`ll never reach the 100psi switch cut out pressure. You can adjust the output pressure by turning the setscrew on the front of the pump (triangular plate) clockwise with a 1/16" allen key.  If the switch kicks the pump on at 80psi you`ll need to set the air precharge in the  0.7L tank to 78psi (via the car tyre valve). The tank will have around 120ml of nutes in it when the pump switches off at 100psi. 

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You right Geo! Pressure gauge is essential. Dunno what I was thinking trying to get away without buying it!

 The pressure switch have same setscrew as the pump, so I quess I'll have to play with them when pressure gauge turns up. 

 Thanks for the tip on a little accumulator tank pressures! I'm not 100 % on sticking with it or to get a bigger (2L) one....

 Last night I ordered another solenoid valve. This time "normally open" to dump the pressure from the line back to nutrient tank after the main solenoid cuts the flow. This in theory should stop afterspraying. 

 They called me this morning saying that it'll be back in stock in 6 weeks!!!! :wallbash:

 By this rate i won't start a new system anytime soon....

The other thing that worries me a little is PRV. Do I really need one? Can't find it for needed pressure anyway, plus they mostly metal. I've decided going without.

 I'll post some more pictures when changes are made. 

Cheers!!!

 

 

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With a small system its easier to run one solenoid per nozzle, it costs a little more but they will provide years of trouble free service.

The normally open solenoid will convert the over run into a delay as the lines pressurise from 0psi. Your anti drip nozzles will be fubar as they are designed to maintain pressure in the lines and not allow water to flow to the nozzles until there is sufficient pressure. Most of my ant drips are designed to open at 60psi and close at 30psi,  the lines never drop below 30psi and the nozzles start misting at the same time as none will operate until they all have 60psi of pressure available.

With the n/o solenoid, you`ll have 0psi and possibly introduce air into the lines providing some hiss and spit action ;) 

If you set the pump max output pressure to something below the tanks maximum working pressure you could get by without a prv.  Pump overheating is the issue then.

In my experience small tanks can be almost as expensive as larger ones, the only time i`d use a 0.7L or 2L tank is at the end of a long pipe run to overcome excessive pressure drop. The small tank will supply instant flow and pressure to the nozzles in the remote chamber. During the off period, the main tank recharges the small tank via the long pipe run so the pressure drop isnt an issue.

 

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I hear you Geo!

My nutrient tank will be sitting outside of grow room on top of concrete chamber with the pump inside. Then the 3/8 tubing run of about 2.5m into the room before solenoid valve and 1/4 tubing to nozzles. Would you consider 2-3 meters of 3/8 tubing as "long" run? If yes then I'm probably will leave the smaller tank just before solenoid(s) inside the room, and install a 2L one next to the pump. 

 Where are you getting your nozzles from? Im thinking to change my ones (Chinese noname/nospecs) to something like cloudtops (red) with anti-drip assembly. Or probably go all out and buy delavan SS or bete SS nozzles..

I really appreciate your help on this project Geo! 

Can't wait to get the thing going. Clones are rooted already and waiting...

 

 

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Good news is the pressure gauge turned up. More testing tonight.... :)

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2-3m of 3/8" is ok with 4 nozzles. The worst thing is long runs of small bore tubing feeding a lot of nozzles. A 2L tank will give you around 350ml (80psi-100psi). I dont know what the 0.7L or 2L cost but i guess more than 4 quid lol. I wouldnt have either one on the shopping list unless i had a definite need for a really small tank ;)

The 0.7L tank can be plumbed in near the chambers so its still useful (ish) but dont go making the same mistake by buying another small tank. You`ll end up throwing good money after bad. 

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Hello there!

Most of the parts got delivered so i put it all together to test

its looking like this atm:

large.IMG_20171015_172337.jpg

 

For some reason the pressure switch doesnt turn the pump off. I will have to get a pressure gauge to see if its a pump aint strong enough or the pressure switch are at fault.

The other thing is that misters keep spraying about 6-7 secs after solenoid valve cuts the feed :( not good at all!

Im ordering another solenoid to try remedy this.

Cheers!

 

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Hi everyone!

Played a bit with settings on the pump and pressure switch and left it with pressure 80-110psi. 

From the moment the pump stops (~110psi) to the moment it kicks back in (~80psi) i got around 13.5 seconds with all 4 nozzles running. So if i run mist 2sec on / 5min off it leaves pump to rest for 30 minutes before the need to up the pressure.

it only takes the pump around 2-3 seconds to get it back to 110psi. I doubt it's hard on the pump. 

The other thing i tried is placing the nozzle right next to solenoid (with only 3/8 to 1/4 reducer between) and still got 3 seconds afterspray :(

It seems im going nozzle hunting again... 

Some growers from states swear by the Biocontrol nozzles which is impingement type....

 

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The 2sec/5mins wont run for 30 minutes due to the run on. Its a good idea to measure the actual tank capacity so you know what your working with. In theory, your tank should hold 160ml at those pressures but in practice it`ll be quite a bit less. Charge the tank to 110psi and collect the water until the pressure switch operates at 80psi, measure or ideally weigh what you collected (1g equals 1ml).  Next, recharge the tank and run the 4 nozzles at 2sec/5 min and time how long the tank runs for. Armed with both measurements you can work out the real nozzle flowrate including the system losses. (every system is unique)

In the real world, this small hpa setup running 80-110 with 4 nozzles on 2sec 5 minute timing would run for 33 hours on a single charge. Its quite a bit less than the theoretical 66 hours ;)

 

 

The biocontrol nozzles arent too bad but are quite pricey considering you have to import them. The quality can be hit and miss. you`ll find some work and some dont, so be sure to order more than you need. They`re not anti drip and have a lopsided mist pattern, not 360 degrees as you`d expect.

 

 

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Yeah, I heard that quality control ain't the best at bio's, but they tend to replace the dummies. 

 I will do the real time calculation when I get all the right components for the job. 

It's feels a little weird that not many people are doing airoponics. Or maybe not many willing to share their experience ....

Hats off to you Geo! 

Cheers everyone! It's Monday tomorrow...

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