If anyone from Team HydroTower thought February was a busy month, they were mistaken as March was far busier. The implementation and building of the prototype continued to gain speed and peaked before Spring Break. All efforts in automating the HydroTower for Spring Break were accomplished and HydroTower successfully ran for the 10 day break.
First and foremost, the plants were officially moved to their new home inside HydroTower and survived the transplanting. Prior to transplanting the foam spacers were tested and installed. Pumping and drainage were cycle tested to ensure proper operation before the plants were moved. However, by the time Spring Break came, the pump, lights and fans were connected to the microcontroller which allowed HydroTower to survive Spring Break and continued to allow the plants to grow.
A water reservoir was built and tested and the first level drainage valve was installed and connected to the microcontroller. Brian and Jacqueline also learned to TIG weld Aluminum in order to build a frame for the water reservoir.
Team HydroTower is also excited to announce that it has made it to the
The LEDs were revised and finalized and a new mounting system was built and installed. The LEDs now focus lights towards the center of HydroTower for better plant growth. Plants have continued to grow and thrive in HydroTower, especially the tomato plants and lettuce. The Team is confident vine ripe tomatoes will be available before the project is completed.
Another nice accomplishment was that after Spring Break Brenton and Jacqueline presented on behalf of Team HydroTower in the 2nd annual BizPlan Competition for Calvin. HydroTower took second place overall and was awarded $600. The BizPlan competition was presented by the Calvin Entrepreneurship Club, the Business Department and the Engineering department and it was sponsored by Soundoff Signal, Inc. and the Kern Foundation. Team HydroTower is very thankful for the BizPlan Competition and all those involved as well as for the opportunity and experience of presenting to the panel of judges. The Team is hoping to take the insights gained and apply them to the remainder of the project.
April will be another very busy month as the Team will install many more components and continue crossing off line items on the final To-Do list. Keep checking back for updates as the Team moves towards the final HydroTower prototype to be displayed May 7th.