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作动原理

传统典型的潮汐上下给液方式一般需要耗费较大动力且多量储水的配置,水位的升降则必须仰赖机械式的连续定时循环回流动作,灌排液操作亦无法同时均匀的控制大面积内每只单位钵盆的养水份饱和程度以及植物本身的正确需求量,加上地下部的病虫害极易蔓延和养液的变动性等的考量,使其与湛液方式同样存在推展的阻力。

自主潮汐式养液栽培系统(Autopot Systems®)在历经多次改良后,最新一代的设计于专业栽培的领域上融入更简易且更精准的技术,赋予了投资生产上更高的效率与质量。其设计概念,主要虽基于潮汐式的原理,但亦融合了浮根和毛细管式的技术,巧妙的利用各型特殊不同压力的专利人工智能阀Smart-valve MK2~等来左右给液的进行。每一组栽培单位皆仰赖此套双点式的水位控制以保持3cm左右的底床液面。当营养液受到植物根部吸取或是自然蒸散的消耗时,液面则随之逐步下降,机制上必须等待底床液面呈现无水0cm,也就是养液完全被用尽后才会再度进行自动补充作业,使其水位重回3cm的状态;而在0~3cm之间的缓冲地带与自主式灌排液时间的进行中,则提供非常有利于地下部氧气与养份的交换吸收条件,根部生长及地上部发育皆明显优于一般惯用的循环水耕方式。

此一进化的设计更能够促进植物的成长自然化以及介质保水状态的精密掌握,令Autopot Systems®可以完全跳脱所有目前养液栽培技术的旧式框架,而形成独树一格的系统,其作动流程与模式实现了三项与众不同的效能:
◆ 不排液→ 无环境污染的忧虑,养水份完全吸收利用。
◆ 不循环→ 独立单位给液设计,阻隔地下部病虫害的蔓延。
◆ 不回收→ 减少养液的后处理,PH与EC等几乎不需调整。

换言之,栽培时的植物若处于饱水状态,则系统不会提供不必要的养水资源,其需求完全取决于植物本身的”自体驱动”,也就是Plant Driven运用的原则,栽培床内随时保持最新鲜的养液。且水源的供给直接借用自体水压力或是高点重力的连结,无须动力或只需微量能源即可达到精准的浇灌动作,加上超低故障与阻塞率的架构,使投资生产者从一开始的简易组装工程到实际栽培操作时的水、电、肥料等成本都能大幅度的缩减;其配置上也只要小型的养液槽,无需地底管线埋设的繁杂施工。在Autopot系统种植下的作物,地下部溶氧充足无虞,可采取无介质的纯水耕或是搭配各式介质的有机方式来进行,其由下往上的毛细管吸水构造比起点滴方式较无盐类蓄积的问题。加上独立基床式的水平调整容易,可高架、可平舖,省去大规模的整地工程;不止设施内,甚至包括户外露天的栽培形式亦能够胜任。对于偏远供电困难或不足的地区,也只需连接小型太阳能板,12V超低耗电量的控制系统更为传统典型的养液方式所相形见绌。

一般精密设施农业大都需投资高价的仪器,使用上总难以避免繁琐的维修、调整、校正等手续,像是日射器、水位计、定时器、水份pF计以及多量的电磁阀和复杂的电脑程式等,这些过度机械化的装备,皆有可能在突发的故障过程中造成专业大面积生产上的损失;而自主潮汐式Autopot系统有别于其他调控机制的特色,则不会受限于此一缺失,在任何情况下,皆可充分展现出省用水、省肥培、省能源、省劳力的特质与优点。

020

021
“Plant Driven” Concept.
The Smart-valve is the heart of the Autopot Systems. It is this which controls the entry of the water to the reservoir. The original Smart-valves were used on Jim’s gloxinias, which were soil based plants and the results were excellent. In the thirty years of trials and refinement that have gone into today’s Smart-valve, most casual observers would be hard pressed to notice any difference, although any engineer would soon recognise the refinements. Today’s principle remains exactly as it was from day one and the main changes have been to fine tune performance rather than to alter working principles. Soon after its invention the trials of the Smart-valve were widened to encompass hydroponic with results being little short of spectacular although to many hydroponic enthusiasts, the results have been at variance with their fundamental beliefs about how a hydroponic system operates.

It is small enough to fit on the palm of your hand, mainly plastic construction and consists of two chambers. Its very nature makes it a comparatively low cost item which is very important because its low cost is what makes it practical to have a valve for each individual container and this is the very crux of the system’s versatility. It has several patents filed as many of the world’s main growing countries and the exact details of its operation are ones that we do not freely reveal. It is different to the conventional ball cock type of float valve because it allows total reduction of the fluid level before it refills. It is a real revolution in the way it allows water to be applied.

When connected to a water supply (which can be from either pressure reduced mains or tank) the valve opens to allow water to enter the bottom of the growing container to a pre determined and pre set depth (usually 30~35mm). The valve then closes and will permit no further water to enter the container until all the original supply has been conveyed from the water chamber to the pot and consequently to the plant. This absorption is achieved by capillary action that naturally occurs in the growing medium. Once the water has been absorbed to the extent that the film of water under the valve has gone, the valve re-opens and another supply of water enters the growing container. This is how the damp and drying out cycle occurs.