An Introduction to Automated Indoor Agriculture

An Introduction to Automated Indoor Agriculture

Good Morning Everybody from New Zealand My name is Kelly Nicholson and I’m here with Kevin Blackmore and We are here to talk to you a bit today about automated indoor agriculture so thanks for joining us So just a little bit about ourselves, my partner here is Kelley Nicholson. She’s the Sales Director for Autogrow Systems in Controlled Environment Agriculture Kelley’s had 17 years in the Hydroponics Industry. She’s served small home-gardeners all the way up to large multi acre farms She’s done a lot of on-site training installations throughout the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia Kelley’s got a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and she served on several boards including The Hydroponics Merchants Association A little bit about Kevin, he is our product manager here. He has 18 Years of Autogrow, beating me by one year in the industry In those years he’s been a Design Engineer, R&D Manager and Product Manager He was also the lead designer of the very popular intelliDose and IntelliClimate line and our newer multi zone MultiGrow product line and he’s really smart, he’s got a master’s in engineering. So who is Autogrow? So established in 1994 Autogrow is committed to creating and providing the most amazing solutions we can come up with to solve the world’s most difficult problems in producing Crops. We believe Growers should have affordable, accessible and easy to use innovation 24/7 anywhere in the World. Yeah our Global Headquarters is in Auckland, in New Zealand and we have growers and re-sellers in over 37 countries. We provide intelligent hardware, software and data solutions for a single compartment environments, all the way through to large scale fully automated Greenhouses and Warehouses. We got a team of Software Designers, Engineers, Horticultural Technology Experts and we’re trying to push the boundaries to get the best results for you, the Growers. Let’s get started on Automated Indoor Agriculture. So, what is Automated Indoor Agriculture? So indoor agriculture is defined as the practice of producing food and medicine within a structure such as a Warehouse or a Shipping Container using a Closed-Loop System with artificial light, Co2 and HVAC. So HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Yeah I think those are some of the key aspects of what, how we define anyway, what we call Indoor Agriculture Situation where you’ve Got a Closed-Loop system and the artificial light. So the Automation of Indoor Agriculture is when you regulate the operation of those Elements, you know the light, the Co2 And control The Age Expansion So we would use sensing devices and we compare the readings that we get from the Temperature Sensors and Humidity Sensors With our target state so we would sell the system that we want the temperature to be a certain temperature and when it goes below that, the Control System will say We need to heat that place up, so it’ll start, if it’s too hot, start the cooler or dose the plants, that sort of thing. So what is the environment? For most people we just think of the air as being the environment around us but when you’re growing plants, there’s two types of environments. There’s the Aerial and the Root Zone So in the air, it’s very an Aerial environment it’s very important that we manage lighting, obviously plants need light to survive and when you are Indoor in a Closed-Loop you have to provide that light for them. It’s very important you manage the Temperature and the Humidity in the Aerial Environment Plants need specific temperatures and humidities to perform at their best and of course Co2. Plants utilize Co2 like humans utilize Oxygen and they need to survive, so it is important that we manage the Co2 levels in an Indoor Growing Environment. Yeah and plants also have a really other, another aspect of the Environment that’s really important to them. It’s the roots so all the nutrient uptake is taken up by the roots of the plants and also a lot of Oxygen so with the Root Zone, we talk about Irrigation so what we’re feeding the plants, how often we feed it, how much we feed it and the EC Which tends to trouble conductivity or the amount of Nutrients you’re giving them, Ph Level. We also, you know, there’s also important things like the moisture levels of the media they’re in and something that people often forget about
is the temperature of the water, because if the water gets too hot the amount of Oxygen it can carry drops and the plants will, they’ll suffer because there’s a lack of Oxygen there. So what can be Automated? So in an Aerial Environment, you can control every aspect of it with Automation. So you can turn fans on and off, you can set your lights to create certain day lengths, so certain plants need shorter days, longer days to create the outcome that you want also running Air Conditioners, Heaters, Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers to manage the Temperature and Humidity in the Room and Co2 Injection and Foggers. You can run just about everything to manage the perfect environment. Yeah and on the Root Zone side You’ve obviously got the nutrient manager which I just talked about before and so that includes Peristaltic Pumps for the EC and pH management Controlling irrigation valves, to give them the right amount of water for the right amount of time Moisture levels, Controlling water chillers and heaters in a Very cold climate, you may need to heat the water up that you can feed into the plants or in a hotter environment, chill it down And the last thing, you know, as we said before with Dosing Valves maybe instead of Peristaltic Pumps. And then there is, you can automate the management of this System so you can actually use a Scheduling to schedule out your entire environmental requirements for the air as well as for the root zone and then of course there’s text and email alerts and alarms which are Very, very important and we’ll get to a little bit more depth Yeah automated text alerts and alarms and things like that, they’re actually critical I think in any Automated situation and I think that’s something that you should really consider when you’re trying to compete Figure out what type of System you’re going to put in the system Yup, absolutely So why is it important to automate? So, with automation it’s programmable so That means that you can customize what you’re growing, so if you’re growing a lettuce crop You’d set up the time schedules And your set points to give you the the outcome that you want so with a programmable Time schedule, you’d be able to say on day 4 I want to get this EC and day 6, I need the lights to stay on for a little bit longer And another aspect of Automation is getting alarms so getting timely alerts about things that are going wrong And even getting reports about things that are going right is actually really important and Helps you run your system more often And with automation you know a lot of people think “Oh it’s gonna save me some time” and it is, but it’s a significant decrease in labor costs. For example you know some growers Say that they save 2 – 4 hours a week in just hand dosing their reservoir Especially if you’re a Hydroponic farmer, you’re testing your reservoir multiple times a day Manually topping off with Nutrients and pH adjusters can become very tedious With decrease in labor costs, you can also increase your crop yields so when a plant is in its perfect environment When the temperature and the humidity are right, the light levels are right, The nutrients and the pH balance are right, the water is right When everything is perfect you actually can have a much higher valued crop Market wise, the colors will be brighter, it’ll be a bit heavier, it’ll just be more shelf friendly Also avoiding costly mistakes Yeah It’s not just getting an alert when something goes wrong, it’s taking out that human element In the automation part of it so by doing that there’s no chance The systems going to forget to water a certain zone or forget to dose or even accidentally overdose which you know happens often Yup And so that type of costly mistake will impact your yield and Obviously cost you more to correct So a little bit more an Indoor automation So when you’re automating, first thing we’ll cover is your watering system or the root zone management So the first aspect of that is Controlling the nutrient and that’s Controlling the amount of Nutrient you’re providing the plants and that means monitoring your EC or the electrical conductivity And the pH balance of your water and The automation system should be able to adjust your EC and pH as it needs to, to achieve the targets, the set points that you want And then Another aspect is the root zone of course as we’ve been talking about and I really do think that it’s important that we keep bringing up the Root zone because people seem to forget about this a lot. They think as long as they’re watering their plants, everything’s fine Monitoring the moisture levels, temperature and the EC of your root zone Especially if you’re growing it in certain media’s Can be paramount to knowing exactly what’s happening at the roots And as Kevin mentioned earlier, if there’s an issue with the root, you won’t know on the plant by looking at it Until sometimes it’s too late, so you want to know exactly what’s happening in that root zone It’s very important, so healthy root zones equal healthy plants Yeah and the last Aspect is controlling the irrigation so that’s the frequency of the watering And the duration – how much water you give So in certain systems you may just have the water provided to the plant 24/7 just consistent Constantly but if you’re growing in any type of media you need to be able to control that and So by having different types of triggers for your irrigation you’re able to more accurately target the optimal Situation for the plants, so you might have an irrigation based on the time of day or Just a periodic one so it borders at every hour Or if you’re getting a little bit more advanced and You’re focusing on that root zone, you can start triggering using moisture levels in the root zone and other things like that We’ve had some Growers have amazing results by using moisture as a trigger point so there’s no guessing Yeah We know exactly, because at every stage of a plant’s growth they Utilize different amounts of water and their transpiration changes Yeah so that’s a really important number to have So what would we What are we controlling in automating the in aerial environment? Yeah the aerial automation or the atmospheric automation is Really important and one of the first things that we’re going to automate in there, is the fan We talk about two different types of fans in the system So the first one is the horizontal airflow fan or HAF fan and that’s just used to control or circulate the air around the growing environment and that just means that you don’t get any hot spots, damp spots and A lot of operations, they don’t even try and automate them they just leave them running 24/7 And in other ones they turn them on periodically to stir up the air The other type of fan that you’ll be controlling is a extraction fan And you use this for say, doing an air change to bring in Fresh Air or Other elements of it are Being able to evacuate the air out of the grow room when you have excess of Co2 so you’ve got a Leaky or busted valve and you’ve flooded it with Co2 And that’s often a A A safety measure that a lot of Governmental Institutions require you to have Some sort of Co2 alarm and fan and the other one is if you’re over temp, so if the Over temperature If the If the, when the lights are on and you’re getting excessive temperatures Because maybe the HVAC system isn’t quite up to the capacity, You can extract the air out and get some fresh air in And then the other way of controlling the temperature and the humidity in the room is the HVAC system So the heating, the ventilation and the air conditioning So in some situations it is actually important to add heating so For example in a large warehouse where you have lots of lights, Most of the time you’re trying to get rid of heat, so people are using air conditioning But If you were in a metal shipping container in Northern Canada in the middle of the winter You may need to heat that And so it’s important to have a nice HVAC system and with HVAC systems It’s very important that you work with a proper company So that they are sized properly The way that humans Create heat and moisture is not the same way that plants create heat and moisture Yeah plants transpire a lot more Than people do so you probably need to get something with a Like a larger condenser unit or something like that and if you just go straight to a standard HVAC dealer You may have some issues with what they provide And humility is a big problem in an indoor operation, because it’s a lot harder to get you know, The fresh air in and out And so the last element that you want to automate in the aerial aspect, is the humidity So when you turn on a bank of lights They’ll tend to heat the room up and dry it out at the same time And so what you may need to do is add a high pressure fogging system Or if you’ve got a slightly smaller environment, a humidification unit And you can use that to bring the humidity out and get the plants into that Perfect aerial zone That lets them, Lets them Grow at an optimal rate And he doesn’t being a dehumidification of course Yeah, so at night when you turn those lights off The plants don’t stop transpiring They’re still going to transpire even though there’s no light on And so you will quite often get humidity build up or you know, Damp spots, things like that and so having a A dehumidification unit that may mean that you have an oversized Condensing you run the air conditioning periodically or it could mean you have a Dedicated humidification unit Just for managing the amount of water vapor that the plants are putting out into the air And it’s very important that we manage this because at night, wet plants are perfect breeding grounds For mildews and molds and things like that that happens indoors So it’s really important that you manage that humidity Then during the day the lights help but at night the dehumidifier becomes almost a necessity in a lot of situations Yeah in a lot of cases, people use the ventilation aspect of the HVAC system to Also do you know, circulate the air through the room but if you get like a leafy green Operation like in the photo here, you may want to put some fans at the ends just To push the air through past those you know, that highly dense growth So the other aspects of indoor automation of course are lights in Co2 So, for Indoor automation For Indoor Set ups, obviously we’d have to bring light in for the plants to photosynthesize Which is fairly important in plant growth So one of the most popular for Indoor is HPS or high pressure sodium bulbs So high pressure sodium lights are Used for flowering plants. They usually have a fairly high intensity, they put off a lot of heat And they have a nice kind of reddish spectrum to them that the flowering plants require The Metal Halide lamps are also very popular for indoor growing and those Grow a little more of the lighter blue tones, and those are for vegetative growth And so in large warehouse situations you may have dedicated rooms, Where some rooms have Metal Halide bulbs and other rooms have HPS bulbs Depending on what land growth stages they’re in And if you’ve done any research into indoor automation at all over the last few years You’ve obviously read a lot about LEDs So LEDs have been proven to be Fantastic especially for leafy greens They put off a lot less heat than the larger bulbs do and they use a lot less energy LEDs are really, It’s a really Fascinating field and there’s a ton of research being done but we don’t we don’t see them being used very often with a Fruiting crop so far, but watch this space because there’s tons of research being done and lots and lots of Studies being done in research institutes About how they can take the LEDs because they produce less heat and they use less energy than the typical HPS or Metal Halides And the last type of light you might have is some simple T5 Fluorescents And those are used for like plant starts for your cloning or your seeding or you propagation chambers Because those at that stage of the growth They don’t need a lot of light energy, they just need the light To trigger them And then of course there’s Co2. So plants utilize Co2 and with a closed-loop system It becomes important that we actually inject Co2 or that we add Co2 to the Room So there’s a couple different ways that you can do that So propane burners are fairly inexpensive and you can, if you have a propane line, you can burn propane to create Co2 Of course anytime that you burn something you will create a little bit heat so depending on the size of the situation that you’re in And so you might want to, if you are considering putting probate burners in, You need to consider that when you’re designing your HVAC system as well Because you’re going to need to compensate for the heat of the light and the heat of the burner Yeah, when you’re talking to the HVAC company make sure that they know that you’re adding them as burners The other is just to do natural Co2 injection from tanks So you can get small tanks that you can pick up at you know, your local Growing shops or at the local gas companies Or if you’re in a very large warehouse you can have huge tanks on the side of the warehouse built And you can Inject with Solenoids And The last thing which isn’t on the list here is that if you’re a smaller operation and you can’t afford to Get a Co2 Injection unit in yet You can just bring the, you can just ventilate the air and do air changes To get outside air in and get You know the 400 ppm that you get in the natural atmosphere So there is an option just To do air exchanges to provide the plants with enough Co2 in an indoor operation If you can’t afford to get the Co2 units Yeah absolutely So one of the things that I do usually recommend on Co2, Because it is so important but it can be a bit expensive and a lot of times it is kind of, sort of the second or third Stage of installation that people get Is that make sure that when you’re thinking of sensors, that you think about getting that Co2 sensor upfront Because even if you’re not managing Co2 just yet, it’s very important to be monitoring the Co2 And then you can really determine Okay, how much Co2 am I going to need? So you can invest in the proper system So, just a little bit of advice This site is Get that Co2 monitoring going on so you really have a full picture of what’s happening Yeah So, everybody wants to know what is my return on investment? So as I mentioned a little bit earlier, I mean just time Being able to save the labor of you know, Actually the 2-4 hours was just for managing the reservoir This doesn’t even include if you’re actually trying to hand water plants That takes a very, very long time so you could save hours a week We had a grower you know, talk about you know, there were certain Tasks that he had employees doing around that he could now automate and he could actually kind of cut back their hours a bit and Make sure that everything was done properly so there’s a lot of, the time mass that can go on and on and on The other aspect of cutting back time, the time of somebody who’s doing something Relatively menial is that they can now focus on the quality of the plants and make sure that the plants are growing As in how you expect them And that means that you’re gonna end up with a much better crop The other aspect of this is, saving energy So when you set up an indoor Controlled environment you will turn the lights on during the night time Because that’s when it’s off-peak and the energy is a lot less expensive Whereas if you’re growing outdoors or under a A glass cover, you have to turn the lights on when they sun is up if you want to You know, supplement it and so they’ll get You’ll be able to save energy in that respect By being able to time when the lights are on And as, And of course saving money is always an amazing Everybody wants to save money right? So we talked about the labor savings and the energy savings But reduction in crop loss, and this is a big one for me because Having Automation like this with the text alerts, the email alerts, that we’ve already mentioned Having this the control of having it, The environment being perfect every day and the root zone being perfect every day This all leads towards a reduction in crop loss And crop loss Is the biggest risk that all of us take and it’s the biggest money that we can be out Because if you look round at what you’re growing right now and you thought if all of that went away What would that cost? What would I lose? And depending on who your market is, I mean let’s say you’re selling lettuce to your local grocery store chain Not only did you just lose your crop but now you You know, altered the relationship that you have as a supplier And so there’s a, that’s a really big one Reduction in Crop loss You know, trickles through your entire business so that’s a big money savings Yeah and any quality, Quality automation system will give you data logging and The other element with having a data logging system is it allows you to do a little bit of experimentation And also go back and review, how things have been going So if you After a certain cycle, you found that you had a much better quality crop or a much higher yield You can go back and review all those things and Feed them back into the system and repeat that again so it allows you to, The full data logging eases the use of the system and also allows you to be more flexible And experiment a little bit more And the last part of it is you know, the peace of mind Having an automated text alert to say “The lights aren’t on” and you expect them to be It can save your crop, or if you, With the system where you’re feeding the Plants 24/7, say a continuous system Being told that the pump has stopped working, means that you need to get there really quickly and not getting that alert Can save your crop as well Yeah absolutely I mean, just knowing immediately when something happens Great Okay so then, Okay so everybody wants to know how they get their money back but first they want to know How much money do we have to spend, right? Yeah, so the, We have a range of different controllers, so at the bottom end there We have the really Basic, the real work horses The MiniDoses And these devices, are brilliant at what they do But they only do the one thing. So we have like an EC mini which controls the Electrical conductivity or the nutrient dosing and one that controls the pH level or the pH mini Yeah I mean, I always just like refer to these just as the workhorses. No bells and whistles No text and email alerts on these ones These are really simple but you know they go for $500 to $700 a piece about So it’s really, it’s a really great way to get into a very robust commercial grade little doser Just to maintain one simple feature But if you are interested in getting some of those, Those higher level features so the data logging, the scheduling Those are more advanced features then moving up to the next level with the single function type controllers The IntelliDose and IntelliClimate These devices will let you do both the EC and the pH correction or all of the climate controls And they’ll data log for you and you can get remote access and and they’re really fantastic controllers to do All the aspects of the Growing environment that you’re trying to control Yeah and these units go for, I mean because they are a bit customizable in the fact that you know, Like the IntelliDose for example could do up to a 9 part Dosing blend and can do you know, irrigation and things depending on how much dosing you do It varies a bit but I would say you’re looking at around $2,000 a piece and I consider these to be like sister products Yeah when you combine those two together, you’re controlling the whole zone so you know, It’s like a single zone all within one, with the IntelliDose and the IntelliClimate Once you get to multiple zones so if you’ve got 2, 3, 4 growing chambers that you’re trying to control then you can step right up to the, Our MultiGrow control system and this control system can do Everything that you need to do Control your HVAC system, control you’re fogging, the dose and the irrigation Everything! And in multiple zones and in multiple types and styles of installation Yeah and so a multi zone controllers as you can imagine is a bit more Complex because there’s so many things that it can do And so they’re all custom built based directly on your growing setup. We like to make sure that Growers only need to pay for what they’re actually going to utilize And so these systems can vary You know, they can be upwards of $15,000 – $20,000 but we’re talking Lots of automation and lots of different zones Yeah So with what one, we always recommend that you reach out to us and you know, Give us a chat and we can talk it up a bit and figure out exactly what’s best suited for your situation Yeah So, Thank you I think that we’re coming to wrap it up, if you would like for us to give you a call In the chat function on the GoToMeeting you should see a website here If you click on that link you should be able to fill out a form and we will go ahead and give you a call back You are You know, every single growing operation is unique I’ve been doing this for 17 years, Kevins 18 Years and I think that we would agree They’re all you know, everybody’s got their own little unique twist and so you know, Give us a call! We want to hear about it We want to find out about your ideas and we want to see if Autogrow can help you automate And make your life a bit easier It’s a really exciting time as well Because there’s lots and lots of innovation going on and so What we’re finding is there’s a lot of new techniques that have been pulled in from all sorts of other areas And the indoor agriculture Environment is rapidly changing so Yeah please feel free to give us a call and talk through any of your ideas or installations Yeah absolutely Okay Sorry Guys So well, time for some questions so a I have a question that I thought I’d kick it off while you guys, Feel free to ask questions in your own GoToWebinar chatbox But I had a question that I wanted to ask Kelley just to kick off the question session so Automated feed schedules, why would you want to have an automated feed schedule? So For depending on the crop that you’re growing So a lot of commercial growers just use an A and B nutrient with a pH down And that’s fairly simple, it’s usually A is 100%, B is 100% And because you use them in equal parts For a situation like that being able to alter the mix ratios Is probably not as important but with certain crops especially flowering crops and flowering annuals People use additives They use bloom boosters, they use products like in tomatoes, for example Tomatoes and blossom end rot, go hand-in-hand A calcium product like a Cal-Mag is a great addition to that to stop the blossom end rot Because you don’t always use the cow mag in the exact same ratio that you use your A and your B nutrient So it’s important that you have the ability to schedule out the ratios And each plant at each growth stage will have different requirements, so it’s really It’s a great feature of the Agro systems So I had a question here from Christy, and the question is “Why would you add additives to your nutrient?” Well like I just mentioned about the cal mag, So that really helps with like the blossom end rot on tomatoes and Bell peppers and things like that But with different plants, especially plants that are like flowering plants Trying to make sure that the flowers do exactly what you want them to do, when you want them to do it So getting different bits of growth at different growth stages So we have a question from Chris, “Do you package sensors, with your products? What are the minimum basic sensors that I should start with?” I think on the aerial environment Yes of course sensors do come with ours but I do recommend that you have at least one temperature, humidity, Co2 and light level sensor per area Yes Co2 is really important in an indoor environment and Cost as always Everybody has a budget But for me from a controls perspective, I always prefer people to have redundancy So I would suggest everybody have two senses, of course Most of the people don’t do that because of their budget but Redundancy gives you reliability because if anything goes wrong, you can always pull over to the other Sensor unit or control unit And that’s what the alerts and alarms are for, you can actually get an alert that says You have two sensors but we’re only getting readings from one So you can know immediately So a question from Mahinma? Oh wait sorry, Dave He asks “for the MiniDoses, how small of a reservoir can they handle? For example if I have a small reservoir, can they drop the A B pH down at 1ml accuracy?” Or if you can tell, what are the specs of ?” Yeah, so The way that the automated dosers work, they don’t actually care much about what size the reservoir is Because we can dial them in between dose times and intervals And we can talk about this a bit more of course You know, specifically offline if you want to know just for your system But dose times are how long your pumps stay on every time so, sorry let me back up a bit With a MiniDoser, you basically say I want my pH to be 6.0 And any time the pH goes above 6.0 it’s gonna add pH down And the, So we’re gonna add more pH down There’s dose times which is how long the pump is gonna stay on and then there’s dose intervals Which is how long we wait So we just dial in those settings based on the size of your reservoir So we can shorten them if it’s a small reservoir, We can lengthen them it’s a large reservoir I have a pH MiniDoser currently running a 7500 Gallon Reservoir For a large raft system So we got a question from Barrien? He’s saying “Obviously taste and color work, but they are more subjective – Do you recommend any other stats that are measurable?” So obviously with most Crops They measure dry matter, it’s like a An indication of how much carbohydrates they’ve gotten. But there are also the As a You can measure the sugar levels, the Brix Level and then with each crop there are definitely different Things you can measure to potentially – And weight is obviously Yeah, weight for sale you know, being able to measure the weight so increasing the carbs and making it a heavier fruit So a question from Rachel – “How big do I need to automate?” “How big do I need to be?” Sorry, to automate You know there’s a You know a lot of times, I mean I’ve had people automate a four by four little tent which, you know, may be a bit of an overkill But I do Recommend that you know, anytime you get, even indoors, you know A lot of times with an indoor situation they either measure it by space Like a 20 ft by 20 ft room, Or the measure it by how many lights they have in the room So if you have like 8 Lights Automation is fantastic for all of that Because what you have underneath those lights or what you have growing in that 20 by 20 space Is worth something And you want to make sure that that crop stays healthy Another question – “I currently grow blueberries in the ground, I’m not getting the results or consistency I would like. How can I use your system to intensify my operation and produce a better product?” So um, The first thing that I would recommend Obviously growing in the ground is a very traditional method but The first thing I would recommend is getting the blueberries into a Bag or a substrate Where you can more accurately Control what you’re feeding the plants because as we said earlier on in the presentation the The root zone is vital And Getting it out of the soil and into a inert media Means that you can control every element the plants are getting The pH level, the volume of order, the you know The moisture levels And By doing that you can shorten the growth cycle and get your plants Ready a week or two earlier than say your competitors And maybe grow for a little bit longer Yeah and then the moisture sensors that we’ve been talking about, So being able to judge the moisture levels in there so if Meter is to fail or something is to Stop working, we’ll be able to know That down the line, that we’ve got a dry out And we’ll immediately know that we can go and get those meters fixed So that we can not have any type of you know, irrigation failures A question from George – “Does your system have a Smart Phone App that provides real-time info?” So with the With the small MiniDoser, obviously as they are just a simple workers device There’s no Smart Phone App for that But once you step up into the next level where you start getting data logging, remote access and things like that We have you know, a web portal access that you can do from your phone or a web app That we put onto phones and things So definitely, you can get a Web, Get an App Sorry Definitely you can access the devices from your phone and get text alerts and email alerts Which are really critical I think to Giving you peace of mind “Does your water nutrient controller also measure the water levels?” So for a, I would say that for a simple indoor system you may not be too concerned with the water level with Most of the systems that I’ve dealt with Using a simple float level valve and just getting continuous fresh water into the tank to maintain A full tank And then having the system compensate for that fresh water by adding the nutrient and balancing the pH That’s how most people Have implemented it Once you get to a Bigger, more complex system we might be using the MultiGrow with multiple Environments and maybe a large source tank, then yes we can definitely measure the water levels on those It’s more of a balance of cost versus you know, the benefit Um The only real benefit of measuring the water level is knowing that you’ve lost that water supply but if you’ve got one water supply feeding multiple systems then obviously getting, Knowing the level of that and getting that alert is really important And before we wrap this up because I know we’ve already taken a bit of your time this morning you Guys and there are a few other questions We’re very interested, we want to keep doing these webinars because we think that they’re They’re a good source for you and they’re a great practice for us and a great way to interact So the last couple of Webinars that we’ve done have been fairly top-level where, very Introduction We just wanted to kinda get you on board but we’re looking at getting a little bit deeper next time we want to go More you know, more deeply into one or two topics that are really important to you So um, If you have any ideas for us, Please share, we really wanna know Yeah what things are you interested in learning about we can sort of Zoom in on that and focus on Certain aspects of the indoor environment that we control and why they are important to us or to the plants So yeah if you do have any suggestions for what the next webinar should be then yeah, Feel free to Put It in the chat or send us an email Yeah And then we just, What are the other questions? Let’s see here So we’ve got “Are the systems complicated to use and what about the training?” So I would say on the complicated to use… I’ll answer to that Kevin No We’ve designed all of our systems to be really intuitive So um, We were just talking about this the other day that we actually, the terminology that we use Especially on the single zone controls Was put in layman’s terms right We wanted to take it out of this really techie kind of You know, had to be a grower for 20 Years to understand how to program it We wanted anybody to be able to And it’s a very simple and easy setup Yeah with the you know, remote access and being able to Look at your system from other Locations It means the technical support is lessened somewhat so you If you call somebody, they’re able to access your device and look at what’s going on Because most of the time The issue is the settings, A setting that maybe is affecting the outcome or Something physical like a broken wire or a busted pipe or you know, leaky valve Those sorts of things Are more typical of what’s going wrong and we can sometimes diagnose those even from the electronic remote access Now I think Um “How important given a wavelength is and what different…” That’s a great one, Darrien And we will definitely write that down We have been getting a lot of questions about different lighting Types of situations Just elaborate the, his suggestion was the Next webinar is ‘How important is the Given Wavelength? And what different Wavelengths provide to the Plant’ Yeah and then maybe doing another one with some more information about nutrients and how nutrients work, Yeah those are all a great idea Um Well I think that we’ve hit our 40-minute mark here so We really appreciate you joining us We really appreciate you taking the time And we look forward to talking to you So please reach out to us, give us a call, drop us an email And we’ll set up a time to go over your project specifically and get all your questions answered And thank you for taking the time to listen to us, it’s really great to see you guys all out there Okay, thanks Guys! Have a good afternoon!

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