Mike Pfau

Ecoponics Lab in the Mojave

 
 

In development. Aquaponics Desert Horticulture Lab.  Joshua Tree, California.

Built inside two former 40′ high-cube shipping containers. Aside from structural and finishing details, the electrical and plumbing system have been designed to be efficient and self sustaining.

The south side of the main structure has a green house running the length of the whole  container. A 500 gallon Tilapia (Oreochromis Mossambicus) tank provides a healthy habitat for raising the fish and enough nitrogen based “plant food” to keep the green house ecology balanced. The Tilapia tank is heated by solar/thermal method to a relatively consistent 30˚c. The oxygenation of the water is accomplished by a cascading flow through large vertical drops. In addition to the main tank and grow beds, several other habitats are incorporated into the system. A seedling nursery, fish hatchery, earthworm habitat, compost box, chicken coupe, and duckweed pond. All these sub-habitats provide necessary bio-processi for equalizing the nitrogen and oxygen cycles, and consumption needs of the green house eco-system. Most of the plumbing in the green house is gravity driven, and timed by bell auto-siphons. Any electrical needs for pumps are handled by photovalic system. For any additional water needs a rain-water catchment  system utilizing the entire 320 sqft roof drains into a cistern located on the west end of the lab.

 

The greenhouse has implemented an automated monitoring system with environmental sensors, and data logging. The data can be accessed at the following site. http://codensity.com/notreadyyet. The lab is developing a remote application where the greenhouse can be monitored and acted upon if need be.

The primary container is divided into three major divisions. The resting quarters are on the east end of the lab. The shower and rest room are situated on the west end. The kitchen and common area are set in the middle. The south facing wall is mainly windows and glass access doors leading into the green house.  Running the length of the south wall is an indoor garden, the excess runoff from the sink and shower flow by way of gravity through a channel of gravel, sand, microorganisms and fauna. Eventually this “greywater”  empties into a catchment sump in the greenhouse where it is used   for various purposes. The indoor garden allows for more food production, oxygen conversion, and indoor humidity, while reusing water.  Dish soaps and other similar commodities are used sparingly and chosen for bio-degradability. The lab has five classes of water, each system is important for conservation

1.Drinking Water

2.Cleaning Water

3.Grey Water

4.Aquaponic Grade

5.Black Water

 

Computer dock seedling incubator.

-more info coming soon.