4.1 Key Findings
The plants were able to stay alive and grow taller, we were also able to bring back some plants that were dying. Our watering system was effective, but required maintenance as some of the spray nozzles would malfunction after a period of time and needed to be swapped out or unclogged.
4.2 Explanation of key findings
The watering system only managed to water some of the plants, which resulted in some of them wilting. However, those that managed to receive nutrient-rich water managed to survive.
4.3 Evaluation of engineering goals
We have managed to grow plants indoors and the plants can continue to grow as per normal. From this we can say that the growth of plants in an indoor environment with the use of artificial lights is possible. For this experiment we used a pump to power the watering system. Although if we were to scale up the project, it would use up lots of energy. The pump is too powerful and the spray nozzles can come loose, so we can do away with a less powerful pump and increasing energy efficiency. The experimental set-up would need some surveillance as it can clog up or the spray nozzles would not spray properly. We would need to come up with a way to make to maintenance easier and much more reliable.
4.4 Areas for improvement
One major fault that has to be improved is the watering system. The spray of the water is very unpredictable and needs tweaking. We can also improve power consumption by using a less powerful pump and gravity to our advantage. As for the lighting system there is nothing faulty with it but it can be further improved by arranging them more efficiently. When fixing a problem with the system, it was very troublesome and tedious so we would have to design a easy to maintain aeroponic farm to meet the requirement of easy management.
We could have improved on the watering system, as the spray nozzles were not able to sufficiently water all the plants that were on the platform. We also should decrease the space between each plant on the platform, as it would increase the efficiency of the setup and allow more plants to grow over a small amount of space. We could also put a timer on the lights and water pump so that we would be able conserve more energy and water.