Center for Hi-Tech Hydroponics R & D

Center for Hi-Tech Hydroponics R & D

Hydroponics is a soil-less way of farming. Plants are grown in inert media (such as cocopeat, perlite, gravel, rock-wool, clay-balls, gravel, etc.) & continuously supplied with nutrients-enriched water.

 By 2030, 41% of Indians will be living in urban areas and consuming 60% of all food in the country. So, it would make sense to grow at least part of food ingredients in towns and cities, where land is scarce, using hydroponics. Food grown locally will have to travel much less distance from the farm to your kitchen (called food miles), thereby benefiting environment. Lesser food miles will also reduce wastage. (According to UN-FAO,one-third of all the food produced is being wasted.)

Use of technology in agriculture in India is in a very nascent stage. With growing migration of workers from rural to urban areas, the agriculture sector will have to adopt modern technologies to improve output and mitigate labour shortage.

Mission of Hi-tech Hydroponics R&D Centre is to research how engineering and technology can be applied to traditional hydroponics to improve the efficiency and reduce the complexity of urban farming. Students from various engineering disciplines will be encouraged to participate in and to take up projects related to such agritech. Research will also cover high yield farming of commonly used Indian vegetables. Through these R&D efforts and industry-academia collaboration, CIT aims to offer to the countryefficient and effective urban farming solutions.

Research opportunities for Engineering disciplines

Low cost automaton systems Electronics & Communication Engg
Electronics & Electrical Engg
Low cost sensors MechatronicsEngg
Efficient dosing system MechatronicsEngg
Mechanical Engg
Application of AI & Analytics Artificial Intelligence
Computer Science & Engg
Effective mobile app for users Computer Science & Engg
Greenhouse automaton & climate control MechatronicsEngg
Mechanical Engg
Low cost polyhouses Civil Engg
Mechanical Engg
Low cost,ergonomic & aesthetic structure for indoor system MechatronicsEngg
Mechanical Engg
Efficient Grow Lights Engineering Physics

There will be separate researches related to plant growth such as optimalconditions for various crops, techniques to increase yield, best nutrients combination for various plants, etc.

Various methods of hydroponics cultivation are:

Wick system – Water enriched with nutrient is stored in a reservoir and drawn into the growing medium with a wick.

Water culture system – Has platform (made of light material like thermocol) with holes to hold the plants and floats on the reservoir of Water enriched with nutrient so that plant roots touch water.

Ebb and Flow system – Plants are grown in a ‘Grow Tray’ which will be flooded with water enriched with nutrient from reservoir, held there for some time and then drained back. The cycle will be repeated.

Drip systems (Recovery / Non-Recovery) – Water enriched with nutrient is pumped up from reservoir onto the base of each plant by drip line. In ‘Recovery’ type, excess water is channelled back to reservoir for re-use. In ‘Non-Recovery’ type excess water is run to waste.

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) system – Water enriched with nutrient is constantly pumped up from reservoir into the growing tray/channel and flows over the roots of the plants, and then drains back into the reservoir.