NASA initially engineered aeroponic cultivation technology for moon exploration and habitation; it has evolved considerably and is establishing a formidable presence in the cannabis space. Swissleaf believes this technology is superior to hydroponics and better suited for the vertical cultivation smart dome design, and desire to automate processes. The ability to monitor nutrient consumption at the biological level is a significant advantage, leading to the implementation of computer-controlled delivery systems, simpler sanitation, and lower overall operating costs. These efficiencies can be leveraged across two 6’ levels of cultivation canopy, which is more labor-intensive, and the need to use man-lift operators for personal safety.
While hydroponic uses a substrate media like Rockwell, Penlite, peat moss, and water to cultivate, Aeroponic growing provides the nutrients and water directly to the roots in a vapor phase. Less human interaction is needed with the plants and reduces the risk due to foreign contaminants.
The interior rooms are divided into three main areas, a vegetative and cloning area, main flowering room, and the curing and packaging room. The basic design is modeled around the micro-licensing program in Canada, a total of 2,152 ft of the total canopy (approx 600 kg/year of production). It’s modular and can be increased incrementally by units of 4 feet when scaling for much larger production levels.
The design is generic and can be adopted to either hydroponic or aeroponic cultivation methods. The total height of the interior rooms is 18 feet and can support two levels of growing, 6 feet per level. The curing room makes use of vertical racking and include processing areas for trimming packaging and secure storage.
Swissleaf’s execution plan to achieve excellence in all operations with a focus on these key areas:
- Ability to adapt to a client’s preferred cultivation practices, either hydroponic or aeroponic.
- Standardized smart-dome footprints, interior grow rooms and general workflows for each smart-dome prototype
- Development of a commercialization proof of concept micro-dome suitable for the Cannabis Act micro license marketplace. (2,152 ft2, 600 kg/yr)
- Aeroponic cultivation technology implementation – James Wagner Cultivation
- LED lighting systems using best of breed supplier – Fluence Bioscience
- Interior mobile racking and air ventilation equipment from leading suppliers – PIPP Racking Systems
- Highly efficient HVAC systems designed to ensure climate controls are optimum for all areas
- Price Industries GRW horticulture AHU’s
- Use of VFD’s for all rotating equipment for energy savings
- RO unit
- Wastewater and heat recovery systems
- Ozone sterilization methodology – as required
- CO2 injection
- Stringent quality management procedures and SOP’s for all areas of operations
- Process control automation for all processes where practical to limit operator oversights
Supercritical CO2 extraction
Initially, Swissleaf intends to contract these services to reputable a third party licensed extraction company.