Anyone ever tried air driven atomizer type approach for aeroponics?

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by Larry3215, Jul 31, 2018.

  1.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Well-Known Member

    After my reading and experiments in hydro, Im convinced less is more as far as the water to air ratio in hydro.

    That means systems like the Membrane meniscus technique, or HP aero or maybe true NFT, with a very thin layer of water rather than a flood of water, would all be "better" for the roots than things like DWC or E/F, etc, where the roots, or a major part of them, spend a significant time submerged.

    However, I dont want the hassles or $$ of HP aero and Im not happy with my first experiments in LP aero. Im also not interested in FOG-ponics for the same reasons.

    So, I had a wild idea - how about using hi-pressure air to atomize the nutes - as in an air brush for example. I know air brushes can create droplet sizes under 100 microns with the right setup.

    Has anyone tried that or have any thoughts?
     
  2.  
    Atomizer

    Atomizer Well-Known Member

    I dont think AA is the method for you then ;)
     
    Larry3215 likes this.
  3.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Well-Known Member

    You are exposing my ignorance. Im going to make a wild guess that AA = Aeroponics Anonymous or Atomizers Always or?

    So, does that mean someone has tried that? My searches come up empty, so any help would be appreciated :)
     
  4.  
    Atomizer

    Atomizer Well-Known Member

    air assisted or air atomized aeroponics. Its been around for well over a decade ;)
     
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  5.  
    PetFlora

    PetFlora Well-Known Member

    If F & D roots are soaking in nutrient solution then the drain hole diameter is too small

    For my upcoming grow, which may or may not get posted on RIU I will be using a O2Grow Nanobubble DO emitter to charge my rez after each 2 hour flood. That's about s simple as I've seen
     
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  6.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Well-Known Member

    The roots in any F/D system will be completely under water for some length of time on each cycle no matter how low the water drains out. The roots at the very bottom of the tray spend the most time completely under water. Those at the top spend the least time, and some at the very top of the tray may never be fully submerged. How long they are completely submerged depends on how fast the water drains/fills and how long it is between the time it takes to fill to the top and the time the pump shuts off and it starts to drain.

    On other systems, DWC, etc, some portion of the roots are under water 100% of the time. LP aero looks to me like it blasts so much water in the over size droplets or streams, that the roots may as well be submerged during the pumping cycle. Ive also seen several HP aero systems where the roots grew down into standing water.

    HP aero, fogging, true NFT, Membrane technique, etc, all tend to have the better ratios of water time to air time than DWC, etc, while F/D and some LP aero systems fall in between depending on the cycle ON/OFF times and fill/drain rates, etc.

    I can afford to do a DIY LP aero or F/D with my existing equipment and budget. Im trying to come up with an affordable way to improve my system by reducing the droplet size and the amount of time any of the roots spend 100% submerged. I cant afford to do HP aero, but I might be able to do an AA system - depending on the details of how folks do it - maybe.
     
  7.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Well-Known Member

    Ah ha! Thank you sir! I will do some searching for those terms.

    Whats your opinion on those types of systems? Im assuming there are some issues or challenges or problems or I would have seen a thread or two in my searches. You may well be correct that AA isnt for me, but my curiosity is aroused and Id like to check it out even if I dont end up doing it.

    If you or anyone could point me towards any build/grow threads, that would be great!
     
  8.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Well-Known Member

    LOL A quick search using the terms you suggested has turned up a ton of stuff to read.

    However, I am starting to see what you meant by that!! If I want to go 'all the way' its going to be complex and $$. Now to see if I can come up with something that moves me a little closer to that goal, but that I can also afford, and am willing to do.

    Thanks again!
     
  9.  
    PetFlora

    PetFlora Well-Known Member

    You really shouldn't keep making blanket statements regarding hydro methods, as it is obvious your knowledge is very limited.

    I have been using F & D for a couple years now. Most of the issues you raise are easily mitigated. In my system 99% of the nutes drain back to rez in < 2 minutes, by simply angling the tray/totes toward the drain

    After always using DWC with 4 air stones to start seedlings, last grow I threw this lpa with hpa mist heads together as an experiment. By far the best young plant roots I ever had; using a deep cycle timer is the key. Long before tthe roots hit the nutes in the starter tote, the plants are transferred to their individual tray/totes

    Here's a store bought system with 99%+ drain back

    https://greenenvysupply.com/brand/oxygen-pot-systems/
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
    ANC likes this.
  10.  
    dstroy

    dstroy Well-Known Member

    If you can't afford the few hundred dollars to get the necessary equipment for HP aero, I don't think you're going to have an easier time going AA unless you already have a compressor and plumbing to spare.

    You should also consider if you will be able to run that compressor at night, and if not how much bigger of an air tank do you need. Is your air oil free etc etc. AA can be noisy depending on the nozzles you use.

    If you've got that stuff figured out, great, lookin forward to your grow. Not a lot of AA or HPA on here.
     
  11.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Well-Known Member

    You are correct that I am very new to hydro, and I apologize if I offended you. But, I think you mis-read or misunderstood the intention of my statements. They were accurate though :)

    In any F/D system the roots are completely under water - flooded - for some period of time. It may not be a long time, and it is certainly not 100% of the time, but they will be completely submerged at some point. The roots in the bottom of the tray WILL be submerged for a longer time than the roots at the top of the tray and some roots will never be submerged.

    How is any of that incorrect?

    I was simply contrasting F/D, DWC, etc, to a true HP aero system where the roots are NEVER under water any point in time. From what I have been reading, the roots grow and develop very differently when they are submerged even for short periods or when they are exposed to large droplets or streams of water. I am not trying to run down F/D or DWC or any other systems. They ALL work from what I have seen. The differences in results are incremental rather than 100% good vrs 100% bad.

    If I have any of that wrong, or anything else, please help me out by explaining where I screwed up or pointing me to some info source. I am here looking for help, and the last thing I want is to start a fight, so please feel free to correct me. Im married, so I can take it like a man :D

    By the way - your LP experiment sounds like exactly what I am wanting to do - improve my root environment without breaking the bank :) I have been playing with various spray heads from Home Depot and EZ cloner, but my pump has too low a pressure to give decent sized (small) droplets. Thats why Im looking for alternate techniques to try.
     
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  12.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Well-Known Member

    I have an air compressor, but its a noisy contractor job. IF I can get this to work well enough to try it on a grow, I will invest in a quiet compressor. I have LP pumps, and plumbing parts to spare as well as servos, controllers, power supplies and odd bits and pieces left over from a lifetime of hobby projects involving hi tech toys, and Im quite handy at DIY projects.

    The nozzles may end up being a big issue though. I was originally thinking I could just use my air brush to mist a small growing chamber, but the reading I did today throws some doubt on that. I have a LOT more reading to do.....

    Which brings me to your last point - I have found no pure AA threads so far with any build details. The vast majority are just HP aero with some small number of air assisted HP aero. I dont think either of those will work for me. Im stil trying to find someone who has done a grow just using air and siphoning the water or gravity fed. I would also be ok with the water fed by an LP pump to an air nozzle, but havnet found details on any of that stuff - so far.
     
  13.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Well-Known Member

    I have a more general question for you aero guys. The ideal droplet size seems to be sub 80 microns.

    My question is - is it worth doing if you cant get down to that size or cant get consistent droplet size?

    My current build is sort of almost LP "aero" but its really more of a stream than any kind of droplets. Im running an Ecoplus 396 GPM pump to some DIY PVC pipe sprayers that are just very small holes drilled in the pipe. The pump is currently ON for 1 minute (shortest time on my current timer) and OFF for 1.5 hours. Im trying to root some clones as an experiment. The stems are still drippy wet after 1.5 hours of off time.

    Is there any real point or benefit to getting the droplets smaller if I cant get down to the size you would expect with a true HP system? Can I get nice fuzzy "aero roots" if my droplet control is not up to HP standards? Im ok with an incremental improvement as long as its a step toward the goal.

    I have a feeling that just using air nozzles from a cheap air brush on a siphon or gravity system is not going to give me ideal droplets.
     
  14.  
    dstroy

    dstroy Well-Known Member

    You want fuzzy roots, lots of fuzzy roots. That’s what makes this aero thing really good, the roots have a HUGE surface area.

    If your droplets are too big or inconsistent, It might not make them fuzzy.

    I don’t know that much about AA but I do know that nozzles aren’t that expensive, but you have to plumb air and water to them. And then control that.

    If you make droplets that are too small the roots grow slower even though the roots are still fuzzy and plants are healthy, yield won’t be as good because root mass isn’t where it should be.

    Walmart sells air mist nozzles for $27 on their website.
     
  15.  
    Atomizer

    Atomizer Well-Known Member

    You may be looking at the wrong nozzles if they cost $27, generally they are over $100 ;)
     
  16.  
    PetFlora

    PetFlora Well-Known Member

    >

    Suggesting that you offended me is just another example of how you jump to incorrect or incomplete conclusions

    It's not that roots being flooded for X time is INCORRECT: the point is you make it sound as though it is somehow a negative, when it is not, at least when the solution drains quickly, which I pointed out. And, I took the time to show you a system where 99%+ of the flood drains back, but either you did not investigate it, or simply ignored it as it did not fit your narrative

    I have also grown with hpa, but it is far too complicated (and expensive) for the average home grower. Plus, in order to prevent roots eventually soaking (which would happen in my seedling starter set up), hpa systems are D2W, or at least D2R (R=rez)
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  17.  
    dstroy

    dstroy Well-Known Member

  18.  
    Atomizer

    Atomizer Well-Known Member

    The only thing you can say for sure is it has a flat fan pattern, beyond that your guess is as good as mine ;)
    I suspect its a pressure fed nozzle but for the price it may be worth a punt.
     
  19.  
    ANC

    ANC Well-Known Member

    My air compressor eats electricity
     
  20.  
    Atomizer

    Atomizer Well-Known Member

    Only when its running ;) AA nozzles dont consume much air so it wont run very often. Mine use less than 200w a day, about the same cost as running a 9w aquarium air pump for 24hrs ;)
     

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