Engineering Senior Design 2010-2011 Team 02

Back Row(Left to Right): Jacqueline Kirkman(ME), Brandon Vonk(EE)
Front Row(Left to Right): Brian DeKock(ME), Nathan Meyer(EE), Brenton Eelkema(EE)

Project Definition

Food production, distribution and consumption have become a growing concern with population growth in developing countries and the movement of populations into more urban settings. One way to mitigate the increase in costs for food production and decrease the amount of energy expended on food production is to grow food locally. Local foods provide more efficient means for sustainable consumption without requiring consumers to decrease the amount of fresh produce purchased.

The HydroTower design was developed as a means to decrease the cost of food production, decrease the number of miles necessary for produce shipments and increase the number of people with access to fresh produce. While HydroTower provides numerous solutions, the overarching objective is succinctly stated “feed people, more efficiently, through hydroponics”.

Initial project designs and analysis show that HydroTower is a feasible project which combines interdisciplinary designs including biological, chemical, electrical and mechanical principles. HydroTower is a viable project both economically and technically. Furthermore, market research has shown that HydroTower has few economic competitors and selling prices for HydroTower could be competitive.