With over 30 years of experience and research in the field of Hydroponics, CropKing is a leader in the industry. Our research helps us determine the best equipment and most user-friendly growing solutions for the different vegetable crops grown in a controlled environment situation. CropKing's goal s to offer our customers the best growing system to produce high quality lettuce and herb crops. An NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) system is an investment in the future of your business and we make certain that every component in our full hydroponic systems is of the highest quality. The NFT re-circulating system efficiently reduces water consumption. End caps for both end of the channels and a spout that drops directly into the return drain makes for a completely closed system. We have eliminated the openings where algae can grow. The growing channel are made of food grade, extruded PVC with a 2 piece top cap designed to snap off for ease of cleaning. CropKing is constantly looking for improvements, and new developments for both our equipment and our growing systems. The importance that CropKing places on the bottom line and the satisfaction of our growers is unsurpassed in the industry because we know that there is no better advertisement than a profitable and happy grower.
NFT System Greenhouse Package Includes:
CropKing structures are engineered and backed by an outstanding reputation of strength, functionality and longevity. Our gutter connect structures are engineered to withstand heavy (20lb) live snow loads and 90MPH wind loads. The roof structure members must be strong yet slender to allow the maximum amount of light and minimize shading inside the greenhouse. CropKing uses high strength (50/55kpsi) galvanized "Gatorshield" steel and custom aluminum extrusions to create a strong, cost effective, and long lasting frame to survive the high humidity of the greenhouse environment
CropKing uses two layers of 6 mil greenhouse grade polyethylene plastic to cover our structure with air pumped between the two layers with small inflation fans. The covers are fastened to the greenhouse using an aluminum extrusion. The pillow of air between the two layers of greenhouse plastic provides insulation and rigidity (keeps the plastic from flapping during windy weather). This greenhouse plastic comes with an anti-condensation feature. The greenhouse plastic film has a coating for light diffraction which spreads the incoming light to eliminate shadows. Additionally, the inner layer has an IR blocking ability which helps to keep heating costs lower. While glass has higher light transmission than greenhouse plastic, once you consider the additional shading due to glazing bars and the additional structure to support the weight of the glass, the two systems provide similar net light transmission levels to the plants. There is considerable cost differences between a glass house and a poly house you can easily see why most commercial greenhouse structures are covered with poly. The South wall covering included in the greenhouse package is 8mm twin wall, UV resistant polycarbonate panels, the needed "H" and "U" channel to join the panels together, and Tek screw for fastening to the framework. Polycarbonate is strong, clear and impact resistant. It is also very easy to cut and install, and comes with a 10 year warranty. The greenhouse package does not include the North end wall covering and we recommend that this wall be insulated and sided with the customers' choice of material.
Keeping the plants at their ideal temperature and humidity is crucial to optimizing growth and controlling plant diseases. If the greenhouse were not equipped with a cooling system, during sunny days it would easily reach temperature in access of a 120 degrees. Such high temperatures severely reduce crop quality and worker productivity. Because CropKing greenhouses are designed to grow year round, equipment is required to keep the greenhouse cool. Exhaust fans located at the north end of the greenhouse pull air from the back of the greenhouse across the Evaporative Pads or a "wet wall". Pulling air through the water that trickles over the pads in the wet wall lowers the temperature of the incoming air. The air is then pulled through the greenhouse and exhausted out the other end. Evaporative cooling is one of the most cost effective methods for reducing the temperature inside a greenhouse. While air conditioning or refrigeration systems can be used, their installation and operating costs are normally prohibitive. The fan and pad cooling system includes large exhaust fans and a wet pad system. A Glacier-Cor PVC open top evaporative we wall pad with a self- contained water distribution system (an additional tank to store the cooling water is not needed) is typically positioned on the inside of the of the house at the South end. The heavy duty greenhouse grade American Coolair fans include slant wall housings, fan guards, aluminum shutters, motors and all necessary hardware.
Power Vent Door
When the exhaust fans come on in the North wall of the greenhouse, an automatic vent door opens to allow air to enter greenhouse. The rack and pinion driven vent door on the South end of the greenhouse, the opposite end from the fans, will open when fans are running and close securely when the fans are not running. It has a gear driven motor with limit switches and is covered with 8 mm twin wall polycarbonate. The frame of the vent door is made of aluminum extrusions. The proportional opening and closing of Power Vent door is controlled by the iGrow 1400 environmental control system.
Air Circulating System
Air circulation is important for a healthy greenhouse environment. Air circulating through the foliage of a plant brings a much needed supply of fresh carbon dioxide to the plant. Good air circulation helps to prevent diseases that would start more easily in areas of stagnant air. The air Circulation System in the greenhouse consists of a motorized intake shutter with Jet Fan in the peak of the greenhouse. The unit heaters blow warm air into the heater diverter, providing uniform heat down the length of the greenhouse. A punched poly air tube is attached to the Jet Fan and runs the full length of the greenhouse to disperse the air evenly. The support wires and tube hangers for this air tube are included.
Overhead Unit Heaters
Each bay or unit includes two Modine PDP 80% efficient standard unit heaters (10 year limited warranty) with 180 degrees rotating power exhauster and aluminized steel heat exchanger and burners. Galvanized steel heater hangers are included. For an additional charge, we suggest that in cold climates, one of the heaters can be replaced with a 93% efficient unit heater. While this Modine Effinity93 heater is more expensive, studies have shown that it can have a payback in less than two years in typical northern climates. Since only one of the heaters runs during the majority of the heating season, we recommend only upgrading one heater per bay.
Computerized Environmental Controls
The iGrow 1400 Control System is the brain of greenhouse. This dedicated unit controls all the environmental equipment in the greenhouse such as fans, heaters, vent door, wet wall, lights, and CO2. Due to the quickly changing environment of the greenhouse, specialized greenhouse controllers are critical to maintaining the correct plant environment. The computer controller measures both temperature and humidity of the greenhouse and adjusts to the equipment to maintain the correct set points. By maintaining tight tolerances on the environment both night and day, significant energy savings can be achieved over simpler thermostat control. The iGrow Control System has onscreen programming for easy tracking and adjustment of the environment. There are 12 outputs with LED status display indicators and manual over-ride switches. With the addition of "slave units" the iGrow system can be expanded.
For ease of installation, CropKing provides a pre-wired electrical panel that has been tailored to your greenhouse needs. Mounted on a white painted board is the breaker panel, a relay box, and the iGrow controller(s). All of these are pre-wired together and terminal strips are provided to connect the greenhouse equipment. Since the computer controller only provides low power outputs, high amperage equipment such as motors and pumps need to be controlled with line voltage relays. The wiring for this system can be complicated and often misunderstood by the local electrician. CropKing simplifies all this with their pre-wired electrical panel. Our panels and boxes are interior grade NEMA enclosures as we find this appropriate for a hydroponic greenhouse operation. The power requirements of a greenhouse depend on the size of the greenhouse and whether grow lights are being installed. Note: Please check with the local electrical codes. While we use UL listed components in our electrical panels, some codes required the constructed panel be UL listed.
Grower Tech Service Program
Technical support is a very important part of any CropKing Greenhouse System. Included is attendance to one of our Grower Training Workshops and a copy of the workshop on DVD for future referral. One of the most valuable features of our technical support package is the access to our techs with your specific questions. We suggest that you email weekly pictures of your crop or call our office to discuss your growing concerns. We also include several books and DVDs based on your growing system. (i.e. Lettuce Production Training DVD, Hydroponic Lettuce Production by Morgan)
NFT Growing Systems
The Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) is a growing system that constantly recirculates a stream of nutrient rich water through food grade PVC for growing leaf crops such as lettuces and smaller herbs. The NFT channel system uses water very efficiently because it is recirculates the water. A continuous stream of water flows through the food grade PVC channels and returns to a tank that is usually buried underground, often under the growing beds in the greenhouse. CropKing's NFT System includes an extra nutrient feed pump as a back-up. While this is a costly pump, it is an important "insurance policy" to have a back up on the shelf in case of emergency. CropKing's NFT Growing Channel has molded end-caps that fit on both ends of the channel; one has a spout to fit in the return drain. Covering both ends of the channel and having a 1" opening that accepts a rockwool grow cube perfectly, keeps light away from the nutrient solution. This is crucial because light and nutrient solution form the perfect environment for growing algae and algae will attract pests and affect crop growth if it is not dealt with. The top caps are removable for ease of cleaning. The top covers are punched with 1" squared holes on 8" centers. The seedlings spend the first 10-20 days in the nursery before being transplanted into the growing channel. The CropKing NFT growing system includes a very important piece of equipment call a Fertroller. The Fertroller continually samples and tests the nutrient solution from the underground tank to monitor the pH and EC (level of fertilizer) so that it can continually adjust both the level of fertilizer and the pH to match the requirements of the crop. The support structure developed for the NFT channels are made of hot dipped, structural steel and the slope of the channels is easily adjusted by using CropKing's high quality aluminum cross connectors on the tables.
Full Hydroponic System Components:
CropKing NFT Growing Channel: 2 piece extruded PVC growing channels with base and removable pre-punched top cap. Two types of end caps: one solid, one spouted per channel with anit-drip drainage design. Holes in top cap are pre-punched on 8" centers.
Nutrient Delivery Return System: High efficiency circulation pump(s) including main poly feed line and small feeder tubes to each channel, punch, valves, filter, hardware, and 4" opaque nutrient return system.
CropKing NFT Fertroller System: Pre-wired microprocessor with pH and EC control. Nutrient injector system and acid injection pump (pre-assembled, mounted, and tested). Three concentrate tanks and plumbing kit are also included.
Nursery Seedling System: Lettuce nursery for seedlings -2 white PVC nurseries and seedling trays to be located in the front of each bay.
NFT Table for Channel Support: Gatorshield galvanized steel frame for supporting the growing channels and connecting the hardware.
Included in greenhouse package is a handheld BlueLab pH and EC monitor along with necessary conductivity standard solutions and pH calibration standards. Additionally, the nutrient mixing pump, (2) min/max thermometers, and white ground cover is included. A Berry vacuum seeder is also included with two bay and larger greenhouse packages to eliminate time consuming hand seeding.
The hydroponic fertilizer recipe is formulated to your greenhouse based on your source water composition. Included in the pricing below is an estimated one year supply of fertilizer along with the 1 inch rockwool cubes and seeds to plant out the greenhouse for the fist three crop rotations. Purchasing the first year of fertilizer with your greenhouse shipment can help to save on redundant freight costs.
Additional Add On Options
C02 Enrichment and Control System
Johnson CO2 generator, one per unit/bay, electronic, remote CO2 monitor with control package pre-wired and programmed to be operated by the iGrow 1400 environmental controller.
Sensaphone Model 1104 and Sensaphone Remote Temperature Sensor.
Exterior shade cloth including tie down kit.
Insect Exclusion System
Includes a "screen room" extending the south end of the greenhouse by 8 ft. This additional 8' of greenhouse is covered with anti-thrips insect screening so that the air pulled into the power vent door and through the wet wall has been screened to stop insects from entering in the back of the greenhouse. Prevention is the most effective method of greenhouse insect control. The insect exclusion system price includes an access door into this 8' extension for maintenance of the wet wall. Also included is an additional entrance door and air curtain to turn a customer-supplied head house into an air-locked greenhouse entry. This reduces the chance of insects entering through the main entrance of greenhouse.
Steel Endwalls and Sidewalls
CropKing's galvanized structural steel endwall package includes three steel framed endwalls and two steel sidewall baseboards made of structural 1 1/2in. x 3 in. galvanized C channel, aluminum brackets, hardware, and additional end wall bracing and connecting hardware. Please let your sales representative know if you would like us to include this option in your quote.