Which is the best solar panel for soil-less farming?

Plants have their own unique way of utilizing sun's energy and taking a cue from their solar power is being harnessed for electricity which is helping in reducing the carbon footprint. Bringing the two together in agriculture can create a very powerful impact. Within agriculture, hydroponics and aquaponics are gaining momentum as the produce volumes are much higher. This coupled with polyhouse can take the productivity to a scale of 3 times.

Why Hydroponics & Aquaponics?

hydroponic farming

These are techniques that have proven better yields especially in the case of green leafy veggies, tomatoes, broccoli, brinjal, cauliflower, cabbage, rocket leaves and more. The yield as mentioned earlier is 3 times more than the yield in soil. (Hydroponics Farming का मतलब है बिना मिट्टी और खाद से खेती करना. इसको घर के छत पर शुरू किया जा सकता है)

The hydroponics can save up to 90% of water and almost 60% to 80% less pesticides and fungicides. With organic solutions available, the produce becomes even more healthier. 

In the case of aquaponics besides having similar benefits as of hydroponics use, fish water for cultivation. It helps in another natural way of building up a natural solution, benefitting both the marine life and the plants with healthier produce. Temperature plays an important role which ideally needs to be maintained less than 30 degrees during summers

How is solar power adding value to this?

hydroponic farming

As the motors, sensors, timers, and other related equipment that run on electricity continue to run 24 x 7, hence uninterrupted power is needed to maintain the plants’ health. Solar power therefore becomes much more cost effective as it becomes a completely independent application as it’s an off-grid solution which comprises a dedicated battery bank for power backup during power cuts and during the night.

What are the prerequisites & equipment needed to start such a solution?

solar system for hydroponic farms

Basic rooftop space can be used for such a solution that gives life to the empty terrace and can benefit the users with natural high-quality yield along with solar solution that can also help in power generation for the household besides the hydroponics or aquaponics solution.

Equipment* for hydroponics (It is also called as DFT/NFT System Equipment List)

: PVC Pipe 4”; Net Cup 3”; DC Pump (Small); PVC Pipe & Connector 1 "; Water Tank 20-40 Ltr; Timer; Chiller with sensor 12 V; Liquid Nutrient (Organic); PH Tester; TDS Meter; PH UP Down Liquid; Germination Kit; Coco Peat; Grow Cube

For solar power*: Solar Panel 50 or 75 Watt; Charge Controller; Lithium Battery.

Equipment* for aquaponics (It is also called as Dutch Bucket System Equipment List)

Dutch Bucket Tank; Net Cup 6”; DC Pump- aquarium pump; PVC Pipe & Connector 1 "; Water Tank 20-40 Ltr; Timer; Chiller with sensor 12 V; Liquid Nutrient (Organic); PH Tester; TDS Meter; PH UP Down Liquid; Germination Kit; Coco Peat; Grow Cub

For solar power*: Solar Panel 50 or 75 Watt; Charge Controller; Lithium Battery.

*The quantity and solar power requirements depend upon the size of the terrace and therefore the need for installation of various equipment may vary.

Case Story

Jai, a resident of Patna, Bihar got to know about hydroponics in 2012 while he was managing his father’s ailment and fight with cancer. He got the same installed at his residence. The system used to work, and the veggies used to grow, however, lack of 24 x 7 power solution and then the variance in grid voltage led to a direct impact on the yield and a few times, he lost his entire plantation.  

This pushed Jai to research more on the maintenance and care of his plantation, he found that while inverters could solve the purpose of basic power outages, a long term and effective solution would be installing a solar system as a solution to his requirements.

To address his requirement, he went on to search for small capacity solar panels, where he got familiarized with Loom Solar for solar panels, charge controllers and lithium batteries.

He smiles and says, now he is content as he has found a solution to his requirements and he along with his family now merrily consumes the yield.  Jai has taught this technique to a few of his friends and acquaintances, which has given him more satisfaction as his learning is helping many individuals to not repeat any of the shortcomings he experienced during his initial years.  

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