Using Ebb & Flow to Scale the GRO.io Platform to 12-24 Plants
When we first sat down to design the GRO.io platform our goal was to build something that anyone could use to grow with great results. We wanted to make it both easy-peasy (for the newbie grower) and really damn good at what it did (to please the experienced grower).
Part of that design process was selecting the right hydroponics style out of many available options. We settled on a hybrid, crossing Recirculating Deep Water Culture (RDWC) system with the best aspects of an Ebb & Flow system.
Plants in the standard GRO.io system sit in a nutrient rich water solution that is circulated on a scheduled basis, but they also can take advantage of the oxygen boosting benefits of Ebb & Flow with additionally scheduled cycles of complete water flushing and refilling. The user can even define the duration of hold times between the flush-to-fill ensuring their root systems obtain the maximum fresh air oxygen bath possible.
Everything works extremely well but some trade-offs were made, namely scale. Our built-in circulation pump is sized to circulate about 20 gallons of water at a time, enough for a six plant grow. But what if you wanted to go more?, Say 12 or 24 plants?
Fortunately we’ve found a great solution, Ebb & Flow…..
Here at GRO.io we love modular over non-modular. It’s been part of our design ethos since day one and we wanted to share with you why we feel so strongly about it;
Btw, we struggled with the word ‘non-modular’ for over an hour.. It feels a bit awkward but nothing else fit (static? fixed?…).
When it comes to indoor growing (and just about everything else) one-size does not fit all. Each grower has their own needs and requirements. Three plants? Six plants? Twelve plants? (Shh, it’s a super-secret we’ll be announcing in the next few weeks:) Whatever your specific goals may be modular systems work better to meet them.
Alright, truth be told cutting edge grow tech like GRO.io isn’t what you’d call cheap but by making it expandable we’ve also tried make it more affordable. Take our three plant starter system for example, you can always add more buckets and even more light bars…while still starting with a highly sophisticated and advanced growing solution.
We always recommend that new growers start small and grow big. It’s cool to grow six monster plants but it’s cooler to know you could start with three and add more when you’re ready. The opposite can be true as well, you grew six last time but only want three your next grow.
Beyond scale modular also let’s you swap out system components more easily. Did you start out with a small 3 plant grow and are now ready to move into a big-ass 24 plant/site Ebb & Flow system? No problem.
Technology moves crazy fast and that goes even for agg tech. A good example of this is LED lighting. It just keeps getting more powerful, cheaper and cooler.. And our modular light design makes it very simple for us to keep tapping into those advances while not making you buy all new stuff.
So now you know a little more about the goals we had that pushed us to go modular. Or maybe it was our deep love of Lego blocks… Has anyone ever made a bucket out of Lego? Probably not 🙂
Before we get into our update, I’d like to say thank-you to all the first responders and men and women in our military who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe. Watching 9/11 unfold live on CNN seems like just yesterday and yet it was 15 years ago… Unreal.
Summary: Light Redesign Complete!
Details: I know we are terribly overdue for this update as well as our Instagram site launch. My only defense is that we’re really busy with final system testing and with a hundred other things but it’s no excuse. I promise to be better as we move forward and head into shipping.
Summary: New office space is (sort of) operational !
Details: Our big progress this week was getting into our office and lab space. It’s been an extremely challenging journey..and it’s not done yet (still waiting on internet, desks, final plumbing…) but it’s operational enough for us to move into and be productive.
Summary: First Production Batch remains on schedule for an August shipment. If you haven’t already secured your spot with our Pre-Order offer I’d encourage you do so soon.
Details: We continue to take delivery on a wide range of system components, with our custom laboratory grade pH and EC probes arriving today in 14 boxes. The printed circuit board production samples have also completed their testing phase and we’re working to schedule our first large production order. The lead time on those is typically 4 weeks which will put them in our hands end of July and just in time for building our first order runs.
The new challenge we have is with our office space. The pace at which the contractors are moving is stunningly slow. We had hoped to be in 3-4 weeks ago and we’re still waiting on the basics to be complete (paint, carpet…). The good news is the space is looking awesome, we’ll have plenty of room for assembly, test, shipping, support…I’ll try and post some photos later in the week.
Hope everyone has a great 4th of July!
Summary: First Production Batch remains on schedule for an August shipment.
Details: Lot’s of activity this week to share. We received a shipment of 1,000 water level sensors, placed the production order for our LED diffuser plates (2 week lead time) and have been working directly with our printed circuit board manufacturer in China to finalize their upcoming production run. Light samples arrived as scheduled and will be going through QA testing starting on Monday.
Summary: First Production Batch remains on schedule for an August shipment. If you haven’t already secured your spot I’d encourage you do so soon.
Details: Tomorrow we’ll be accepting delivery of 500+ Delta Power supplies… Poor little guys have been on a boat for almost a month. I know myself and the rest of the team can’t wait to help unload and then inventory all those wonderful little silver boxes. If you’re around Pearl Street in Boulder, feel free to come buy and lend us a hand.
Today’s a big day for us here at gro.io. After almost three years of development, it’s time to come out of stealth mode and introduce our smart and connected hydroponics platform to the world. We hope you think it’s as great as we do, but we expect that as with any new product you’ll have questions.
Let’s start with the most obvious one. What exactly is gro.io?
A large part of the gro.io platform centers on the collection, sharing and analysis of growing data; because we are data-driven, we plan to create a series of blog posts that encourage conversations relating to this topic. Today, we’re kicking off this series and discussing some potential benefits of data-driven growing for the hydroponics industry.
Most people wouldn’t associate the terms “Data Analysis” or “Big Data” with growing plants, but we certainly do since we consider them both to be important aspects of hydroponic growing. There’s a reason NASA uses hydroponics for growing in space; unlike growing in soil, hydroponics is a science with very defined and controllable variables.