One of the most onerous tasks on any hydroponic farm is keeping filtration clean. At Fancyleaf we have 19 recirculating systems, most of which are NFT (nutrient film technique). About half of our growing area is nursery systems which means lots of plant movements. With the amount of ozone we use a floculating effect is generated, which means we have a fair amount of debris to remove from our filters. This used to be a twice a day job, until we changed our standard filters into semi automatic self cleaning filters.

Now the task is much simpler, and the staff are much happier. Instead of turning off the pump, breaking the filter open and washing the screen with high pressure water, they simply walk up to the system, flick on a switch for a 40mm dump valve to open, flick on another switch for 15 seconds to rotate the stainless steel brushes in the filter, then flick both switches off. Less than half a minute and no wet feet from pulling apart filters.

We did this by locating a small 12 volt geared motor and fabricating a stainless steel brush to scrape the debris from the inside of the screen filter. We have plans to develop some electronic circuitry so this job will be done automatically.

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