Paignton Zoo – ENGLAND
This is the first high intensity vertical hydroponic system of its kind installed in a zoo anywhere in the world.
Here are some hard facts about this specific vertical hydroponics system installed in the Paignton zoo:
- The Verticrop system comprises 10 feet tall, multi-level growing trays, which are suspended from an overhead track.
- Each ‘rig’ consists of eight levels of growing channels or ‘trays’ of which there are two different sizes to accommodate various crops.
- Each growing tray, which has been purpose built for the Verticrop system, has a nutrient delivery funnel through which nutrients are dosed at the feeding station. The unique thing about this vertical system is that the rigs are suspended on a closed loop conveyor and in motion around the greenhouse track.
- Each circuit takes approximately 40 minutes with groups of rigs stopping at the dosing station on each round where nutrient solution is delivered via nozzles to the growing trays.
- The 395 square foot greenhouse has the capacity to grow 11,200 lettuce heads using the Verticrop system, compared to 4,332 in conventional systems.
With an annual bill for animal feed currently in excess of $300,000 a year, it is the hope of management the high intensity Verticrop system will not only produce ultra fresh food on-site, but also reduce both food miles and food costs for the zoo.
Read the full article at Maximum Yield Magazine
Roger Pilon, Hydroponics Aquaponics News Digest Editor