BRAIT students develop Hydrophonics

Port Blair
9 Nov 2017

Final year students of Mechanical Department of DBRAIT Shibam Debnath, Indrajit Das, Ankush Mondal, Sumeet Kr. Roy and Sandeep Kumar under the guidance of their teacher took as a challenge to develop hydroponics after going through many literatures and technical concepts and knowhow and succeeded in growing the plants through prototype hydroponics.
Hydroponics is a subset of hydro culture, the method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the mineral solution, or the roots may be supported by an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel. The nutrients in hydroponics can come from an array of different sources. The students’ team adopted the continuous-flow solution culture where the nutrient solution constantly flows past the roots. It is much easier to automate than the static solution culture because sampling and adjustments to the temperature and nutrient concentrations can be made in a large storage tank that has potential to serve thousands of plants. A popular variation is the nutrient film technique or NFT, whereby a very shallow stream of water containing all the dissolved nutrients required for plant growth is recalculated past the bare roots of plants in a watertight thick root mat, which develops in the bottom of the channel and has an upper surface that, although moist, is in the air. A properly designed NFT system is based on using the right channel slope, the right flow rate, and the right channel length. The main advantage of the NFT system over other forms of hydroponics is that the plant roots are exposed to adequate supplies of water, oxygen, and nutrients.
The first step to setting up the first hydroponic garden is selecting a system that best fits one’s needs. Important factors to consider include, how much space you have, what you want to grow and how much, cost, and how much time you have to spend maintaining the system. The three most basic setups recommended for beginners are Wick, Water Culture, and Ebb & Flow.