When growing on benches, you often run into a problem when watering: the water comes in so fast that the plants at the beginning of the bench, at the inlay, are overwhelmed, as it were, and algae growth occurs because the water lingers there. At Meteor Systems, they have now found a solution to this problem: an E&V inlay with a water entry side that does not run straight but at an angle.
In addition, the water inlet is first captured by a membrane, further dampening the water pressure. Bas Dirven, R&D manager at Meteor Systems, explains why this is such a good invention: "We have now made the E&V inlay sloping. As a result, no water stays on it when you stop watering. This means no algae growth occurs."
The devised solution, which is patented, is suitable for ebb and flood systems as well as NFT and DWC and can be fully customized. "We can work with separate covers for existing benches, with or without membranes, depending on the liters of water per hour given. We can also make benches with a cover on one side." In doing so, the floats can be removed from the bench by automation, using the supports of the floats to avoid damaging the plants.
Peter Lexmond and Bas Dirven
Water intake point with aeration
Another novelty in the patent has to do with the water intake point. "There is an aerator in there, a perlator, which softens the water jet to prevent splashing and better control the water flow." It is also possible to divide the water supply in two, with a fast flow to quickly fill the water in the first benches in a row and to 'empty' them, and a slower flow to refresh the water with a drip hose.
And as if that were not enough, Meteor Systems has now also come up with a solution to lift the floats easily and without damaging the crop. The floats are pushed up by the system and then picked up by the internal transport system. Bas: "This, in turn, saves time and prevents crop damage."