First Light Project’s Pilot Vertical Farm is in the commissioning phase where water is continually circulating as we adjust the pumps and balance water flow. One submersible pump circulates water from our 65 gallon dosing tank up to the top of each unit. Water cascades down the interior leg of the unit and zig-zags down through 5 growing levels. Water from each unit is collected through a drain in a lower leg and flows to a central collection reservoir below unit 1. From there another pump circulates the water back into the dosing tank where our Autogrow controller automatically adjusts the nutrient levels of the water before it is recirculated back to the grow units.
Part of the this process involves tracking the amount of water that is lost to evaporation on a daily balance (we estimate we are putting a gallon or two of water into the system each day). When the units are in full production the plants transpire approximately 1 liter of water an hour through their leaves when the lights are on. This works out to approximately 1.3 gallons of water day, per unit, that transpires into the atmosphere. This is a small visible reminder of the importance of plants in the environment and how they are vitally important to the health of the planet.