Hydroponic Temperature Management Systems

Water Temperature Control

Hydroponic Growing Systems

Hydroponics is a generic term given to plants grown in a non-soil or non-substrate operation. Hydroponic systems can be in pipes, trays, or raised beds.  The plants are fed via circulating water, containing plant food or selected nutrients.

They can be from simple home systems to complex wall vertical farms and can grow to both indoor and outdoor massive pipe systems. Regardless of the hydroponic setup, they all have similar issues.

  • Plant stress due to drying out root systems.
  • Food and water distribution systems
  • Plant stress due to high fluctuations in water temperature
  • Environmental conditions such as direct sunlight, frost, hail or shade cover or greenhouse setup

Although we do have environmental control solutions, on this page we are going to address plant stress from high fluctuations in water temperature fluctuations.

If you want to know more about the importance of root warming  go to Bench and Soil Warming

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Hydronic Systems

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Image Source: NoSoilSolutions.com

There are many different hydroponic systems from NFT solutions to circulating water through grow pipes, to floating pontoons on a water body. Examples include:

  • Nutrient Film Technique – NFT systems use circulating thin film of water running constantly past plant roots inside a trough pipe setup.
  • Deep Water Culture – DWC systems can be small water-filled trays or large pond like setups. Usually have floating pontoons with plant roots sitting in the water.
  • Wick Systems – Have suspended plants and encourages plant roots to seek out the water body. Or use capillary action of wicks to draw water into a medium that the plants draw water from.
  • Ebb and Flow – Can be set up like other systems, but use timers to provide plants periodic water supply, and dry out periods. More suitable to plants that would rot if in the constant water supply.
  • Drip System – is just like a drip watering system except instead of dripping onto the soil, the drips are targeted at the root zone area.
  • Aeroponics  – A method where the plant roots are almost free to air and a light misting system is used to keep the roots wet, but not drowned in water.

Temperature Control

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Since most of these hydroponic solutions are in raised beds, for ease of plant picking, they are subject to the effects of localised environmental temperatures and solar influences.  This means that the water temperature can fluctuate from 5 degrees to 40 degrees depending on the season and time of day. These fluctuations can retard plant growth significantly and can also kill less hardy plants.  Soil-based grow systems have a better temp change buffer, but root zone temp is still important.

However, before you just run out and get a heat pump or gas-based heating system to prevent the water from getting too cold. Overheating is often even worse than being too cold.  Also, different plants also have different ideal temperature ranges. Some plants like lettuce prefer 18 to 22 Celsius water temperatures, and plants like Tomato prefer slightly warmer conditions.  So, when considering your heating or cooling project please take this into account.

Hydroponic temperature management systems should be designed for your particular hydroponic setups

Toyesi’s Trident Farm Fresh Heat Pumps have been designed to work with fresh, salty and nutrient rich water quality.

Using reverse-cycle heat pump technology, our hear pumps manage a dead zone temperature range. Cooling if the water gets too hot, or heating if the water gets too cold.  This way once you know what your plants need, all you need to do is set the temperature setpoint and let the system to do what it needs to do.

Sizing Your System

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Toyesi’s Trident Farm Fresh Heat Pumps were designed with Aquaculture, Horticulture and associated farm-based applications. The range of systems cover from 4kW to 58kW, and so can even be customised for modular design covering 300kW or more. Meaning we can cater for small, medium and larger hydroponic setups.

To size up a heat load is not as simple as just looking at how much water you have. Flowrates, ambient conditions, open-air or greenhouse setup, desired temperature range and other critical information needs to be gathered first. Once we have this information we will have an understanding of the kW cooling & Heating you require and we can select the correct sized system.

If you may expand your system in the future, let us know, as we may have to select a system to allow for these changes.

Download a sizing form click here 

Need Additional Help

To understand different methods there are many different sites like NoSoilSolutions.com (no association with) that can give you ideas of how to set them up. Or you can contact DPI, PCA or Hortidaily for additional information. We also know some industry experts that can advise, design or build a hydroponic system for you. Including companies such as Total Water Services, Hydromasta or Pure Hort and others. Drop us a line and we can try our best to point you to the best person to help. Or contact us and we can help design your hydroponic temperature management system.

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