The HYVE System
We provide everything from hydroponic racking to advanced LED lighting, nutrient monitoring stations, pumps, and consumable items such as seedling growth containers, and seeds.
Aluminum extruded racking provides the bones to the structure of our commercial vertical racking solution. The design provides for a safe and clean growing platform that can be used in a variety of growing applications, while giving a clean and polished look. The racking design allows for flexibility and scalability – permitting greater heights, and lengths, as desired – including being able to add on as a facility and its demand grows.
Above a certain number of vertical levels and/or height of a set of racks, an interlayer is included in order to provide stability and accessibility. Stability by using the racks with each other to further anchor and strengthen the system; accessibility by acting as a catwalk to facilitate easier direct monitoring and maintenance of the crop.
The grow trays are custom made of a food-grade, high-density PVC molded to act as light yet tough containers for optimal plant growth and handling within a plant factory. Different tray covers allow for different plant density options, depending on plant type(s) being grown per rack.
LED light bars (linear ambient luminaires) specifically designed for vertical racking with a tailored full-spectrum power distribution are at the core of the HYVE solution. “Full-spectrum” is called as such because the luminaires (or fixtures) emit wavelengths across the whole visible spectrum (400-700nm). The spectrum is tailored to have wavelengths in the blue and red ranges of the visible spectrum to facilitate photosynthesis, and therefore growth, within the plants. Wavelengths in the green and yellow ranges also contribute supplementarily to the plants’ growth, while also allowing for people to more easily see and work within a plant factory without supplementary white lighting. (Human vision primarily occurs within the center of the visible spectrum, i.e. the green and yellow wavelengths, which is why we cannot distinguish colors when looking at plants under a strictly dual-peak light emitting luminaire.)
The light bars use passive cooling via heat sinking, so there are not fans within the fixtures to worry about failing, causing other issues. The fixtures have an ingress protection (IP) rating of 66 and an IK rating (impact resistance) of 08, out of a scale of 10. That is to say, they can get wet with no issue and can get bumped or knocked and be fine.
• ETL listed • 70W • Passive cooling • IP66 • IK08
Each rack within a plant factory has a programmable logic controller (PLC) that allows facility operators to program settings on each rack. The industrial digital control is user friendly, allowing for functions to be programmed, including: the photoperiod (i.e. lighting schedule) per rack level, operation and calibration of the elevator, video monitoring of trays loading and unloading from the body or the rack to the elevator, and more. The user interface is easy to understand and to use. The PLC also has the option of tying in additional connections to allow for further and remote, centralized control.
• Industrial digital control • Reliable • User-friendly • Operate & program LEDs by grow level • Operate elevator
• PLC Housing Unit • Power Supply Unit • Control Panel (LED monitor interface) • Interface Module • Communication Processor • Hardware Switches
The elevator, or lift, provides an easier access to the elevated growing plains without having to leave the ground. An elevator connected to each rack facilitates loading grow trays onto racks after transplantation of crops from the nursery, as well as unloading the trays when plants are ready for harvest. The elevator is controlled and calibrated by the PLC.
The elevator helps to reduce the amount of labor, while increasing the degree of efficiency.
The fertigation (fertilizing and irrigating) of the plants in a system is controlled by a PLC, which manages the metering of nutrient and pH levels, injecting additional nutrients when needed and pH balancer when it needs attuning, as well as the pumps to send the water between reclamation and mixing and then back into the racking system itself. Additionally, cleaning mechanisms, such as UV light, reverse osmosis (RO), and filters are included in the system to further clean water already in the system and fresh water coming into the system. The water reaches the trays and back via irrigation tubes along the levels of each rack.
An automated seeding machine is an option to help seed the grow media plugs with precision and efficiency, again saving time and labor – especially in a large plant factory. Each seeder can seed up to 7200 plugs in an hour.
The germination and propagation of plants occurs in a tailored racking system that provides for greater density of plants, and therefore taking up less space in a plant factory, before transplanting them into the larger, vertical grow racks. The nursery utilizes similar principals as the racks, by growing on levels stacked over each other vertically, and self-contained, circular hydroponic fertigation.
Once crops are ready for harvesting, they can be lowered from their respective level with the semi-automation provided by the retrieval car and elevator. As trays are then lowered by the elevator, they can continue along for the plants to be harvested and the trays cleaned simultaneously along an automated, conveyor system. Once through, the plants are ready to be packaged, and the trays are ready to receive plugs from the nursery and be loaded back on to a rack.