Blog #6

Blog #6

Team: “Veggie Sticks”

Project Updates

The end is NEAR!!  Installation has begun at Middlebrook Community Garden. Final touches have been made on the waterproof box for the electronic and the user manuals are in the works! The barrel has been installed and filled with water to test the supports that will be holding it, as well as testing the waterproof seals around the turbidity sensors. After over a week there have not been any leaks and the supports are clearly intact, as expected. Below is a picture of the barrel placement at the garden.The placement of the new barrel is lower than the original, by 10 inches, this will decrease the pump head which in return will increase the efficiency of the system. We originally wanted to increase the height of the barrel to ensure that the flushing function of the barrel would have enough pressure to reach the biogas unit. After talking with an aquaponic specialist who helps out at the garden, we discovered that the height of the surface of the water is what needs to be higher than the biogas unit. This was incredibly useful information, one that can also be proven with fluid dynamics calculations which will be included in our final report. Below is a picture of the original barrel and its elevated platform. You can also see the abundance of vegetation that has been growing! We did not take part in the planting, however, it is great to see that the system is producing beautiful vegetables!Also pictured above, on the lower left hand side of the picture, are the electronics for the project. This is the “brain” of the system. Inside the box we have the arduino and PCB which control the solenoid valve. On the PCB are three LED lights that are color coded so the user will know which value is being displayed on the digital readout. The three different values are: turbidity, pH, and temperature.

Next Steps

The barrel is in place, but we need to finalize the connections between the barrel and the biogas, and place the input from the pond into the barrel. We also need to drill one more hole in the barrel to serve as the outlet, which will drain clean water from the barrel to the plants. User manuals need to be finished and the interactive poster displays to make the project installation a learning experience will also need to be created.

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