The Greenhouse Greenhouse

The Greenhouse system combines sustainable closed loop crop production with renewable energy technologies for a truly low carbon solution to the way in which we grow our food. The greenhouse is multifunctional in that it provides both a diverse and year round supply of high value crops, but also functions as an interactive participatory learning environment. The greenhouse is designed to utilise an ecosystem approach to growing food, utilising wastes as resources. • Wastes from fish are used as hydroponic nutrients. • CO2 produced by the fish is absorbed by the plants. • Heat from the sun is converted with an air source heat pump to store energy in the water (25-28oC) • Plant off-cuts are recycled in wormeries to provide worms as feed for the fish.

In the Greenhouse tilapia are grown as a food fish.Fish Production. fish behaviour. Learning outcomes from the greenhouse include fish physiology. feeding and nutrition. behaviour and size. Participants in the greenhouses are encouraged to hand feed the fish as regularly as possible (little and often) as physically seeing the fish respond to feeding is a vital tool is understanding the health and condition of the stock. fish are continually harvested from the system every week and are feed with a mixture of fish pellets and worms from the greenhouse’s wormery. Information boards are placed around the greenhouse outlining the basic principles of aquaculture and also the parts of a fish (in this case tilapia). Three tanks allow for fish to be grown from stocking at 20-50g through to a harvest weight of around 500g. Tilapia are mouth brooders and can easily be breed. Tilapia can be cultured at up to 70kg/m3 however in an aquaponics system densities of 20-30kg/m3 are more manageable. .The Greenhouse Greenhouse Aquaculture . however for the growing of food fish. Tilapia are an omnivorous cichlid species from Africa but now widely cultured across the globe. The optimal temperature of range of 25 to 28oC also provides an efficient range for heat storage. The Information boards are designed to remind participants of the fishes requirements and also the correct terminology. The fish tanks have been designed with windows to increases the interaction with the stock and to help observe their condition. water quality. They are a fast growing and good quality white flesh fish and are also known as “fresh water snapper” and the “aquatic chicken”. male fish are favoured due to increased growth rates and reduced inter completion.

the rafts also act to insulate the body of water to prevent heat loss. Fruit & Flower Production. The crops themselves are grown in plugs in a nursery system Lettuce plugs are planted on the floating rafts at day 21 from seed and then grown on for a further 28 days before harvest.The Greenhouse Greenhouse Hydroponics . to herb. Edible crops are grown on floating rafts in deep water circulation channels. however it should be understood that the plant and fish biomasses must be maintained in balance. The floating rafts suspend the plants above flowing oxygenated nutrient rich water providing them with an ideal growing environment. the towers produce prolific yields of fruit and provide a tasty reward for those involved. soft fruit. The Greenhouse is flexible in terms of the type of crops that can be grown and their respective planting and harvesting schedules. tomatoes. peppers and salad crops. tomatoes and peppers. flowers as well crops such as cucumbers. .Vegetable. A range of crops can be grown from fresh herbs to flowers. The greenhouse is capable of producing a wide variety of crops ranging from salad crops. This 6x9m greenhouse is designed to produce around 72 lettuces per week. Strawberries are also grown in the Greenhouse in “strawberry towers” where water trickles down vertical planters filled with expanded clay balls.

. Live worms Wo rm s ei t h er fo r u se as a supplementary fish food. sticky traps and non toxic barrier treatments such as soap sprays. and thirdly to remove gases in the water such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen. allows for the conversion of ammonia into nitrites and then nitrites into nitrates which are then available for absorption by the plants. firstly to removed faeces and uneaten food (to wormeries). Water is directed through the filtration system via baffles and screens ensuring that the hydroponic tanks receive water that is rich in dissolved nutrients and well oxygenated. Pesticides are not used. however a range of complementary techniques are used including beneficial insects. 2. 1. uneaten food. Requiring regular but simple maintenance the filtration system. worm tea provides both a foliar plant feed as well as a bio pesticide. or for sale as fishing bait. As a further adoption of the ecosystem approach to growing food. Vermiculture provides a valuable and fun addition to the greenhouse system and provides yet another visible link between wastes and valuable resources and most importantly reduces inputs to and outputs from. The filtration system is gravity fed and as such requires no energy inputs. . Wastes such as root material. secondly to remove fine solids (freshwater mussels). and solid wastes are added to wormeries to produce two valuable outputs. as well as freshwater mussels into the filter tank to absorb fine Vermiculture: ”Wormeries” The recycling of plant off cuts and solid wastes from the filter tanks is a vital component of the Greenhouse’s function. the Greenhouse.The Greenhouse Greenhouse Filtration System The filtration system serves three purposes. Worm Tea Made from the worm castings. IPM .closing the loop The goal with aquaponics is to establish a natural balance of both predators and pests. we have stocked giant fresh water prawns into the water of the hydroponic tanks to help clear up any solid wastes. algae and to act as an additional food output.

and storing the surplus energy (2528oC) into the water of the aquaponics system for passive back extraction (28-25oC) during the night time for energy efficient heating. 4. The control system allows for the systems operation to be optimised according to the outside air temperatures. The idea behind the system is to capture the solar energy during the day. cooling. Heat is extracted from the air and the cooled air is returned into the Greenhouse.The Greenhouse Greenhouse Heating and Cooling The Greenhouse’s energy system was developed by Thermotec Ecosystems Ltd in partnership with Aquaponics UK. The BMS system also functions as a data logging device and when linked to broadband. . The Greenhouse’s energy system provides an energy efficient solution to heating and cooling to provide a consistent and year round climate for consistent crop production. meaning that for every 1kw of electricity input. Building Management System (BMS) The Greenhouse is governed by a Priva BMS controls. dehumidification. The air in the Greenhouse can be heated in the air handling unit (AHU) which also provides the ability to control the extent of air recirculation through variable dampers on the intakes. provides remote maintenance and diagnostics. and ventilation.2. BMS software and controls designed by Aquaponics UK & Thermotec Ecosystems and built by Ecotech. using and air source heat pump. The air source heat pump is utilised to provide heating. as well as data collection for nationwide research.2kw of heat is produced. At an air temperature of 20-30oC inside the greenhouse the air source heat pump operates at a coefficient of performance (COP) of over 4. whilst the heated water transferred to the water via a flat plate heat exchanger.

colleges and probationary service institutions where food cant be used onsite whilst the system itself provides a valuable and interactive resource.The Greenhouse Greenhouse Is the Greenhouse right for my application? The Greenhouse is ideally suited for areas where the requirement for high value food production exists alongside the need for hands on educational and training resources. scaling up is relatively cost effective. The Greenhouse is an adaptable system that can be tailored to meet your requirements either in terms of space. Aquaponics UK Director Charlie Price with George Alagia during the filming of “The Future of Food” on BBC2 . or plant For advice on the applicability of the Greenhouse system for your need please don’t hesitate to get in touch — info@aquaponics. Economies of scale exist so once investing in climate control for year round production. providing expansion is still within the supply to high value niche markets. limited by public guarantee and operating as a not for profit organisation reinvesting any profits into scholarships. research grants and development. We are a social enterprise company. Aquaponics UK intends to bring together these partnerships in a socially transparent framework for the benefit of all. Scotland FK9 4LA info@aquaponics. Contact Us: For further information on the Greenhouse please contact: Aquaponics UK (Ltd) Institute of Aquaculture University of Stirling Stirling. We maintain strong links with both academic institutions and also commercial and industrial ‘ About Us: Aquaponics UK was formed to provide a much needed link between the research community and proactive organisations and individuals that share a common goal in developing www. For example in schools.

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