Aeroponic System Without Nozzles?

Your Aeroponic System #1 functions without spray nozzles. I've read that aeroponics requires nozzles in order to generate the appropriate size oxygen rich mist - does a simple 1/16 inch size hole completely compensate for a spray nozzle? Also, will the hole clog?

I'm interested in perhaps building your Aeroponic System #1 exactly as you've described it, but wanted to address the above concerns. Have you tried this exact system in one of your gardens? If so, how did it workout? I really like your website, keep up the good work. Thanks!



Answer: In the particular aeroponic system you describe, which (for the other visitors) can be found here, the 1/16th inch holes in the 1/2 inch PVC line do compensate for more traditional spray nozzles in nearly every way- as long as you run the system at the proper psi. It is the pressure of the water pressing itself through the tiny 1/16th inch holes that causes it to fan out in a spray pattern, very much like traditional spray heads and spray nozzles. The only difference is that the water droplets may be slightly larger than droplets produced by spray heads with a much smaller aperture.

Looking at the bigger picture, this fact makes little difference in the performance of the system when compared to the performance of other (store bought) aeroponic systems. For one thing, much of the presence of oxygen comes from the simple fact that the roots of the plants are hanging in nothing but air. This fact is the same in both my homemade system as well as store bought systems.

Secondly, whenever you separate a mass of water into droplets, you vastly increase the surface area of the water exposed to oxygen. The difference in the "performance" of a 200 micron droplet of water compared to a 60 micron droplet of water is negligible, especially when you take into account the fact that the water only travels about 6 inches (in either system) from the spray nozzle till the point where it comes in contact with the roots. Once the droplets come in contact with the roots, droplet size becomes a moot point- in both systems, the oxygen benefit from that point forward is derived from the fact that you've got a thin layer of nutrient solution covering the roots and completely surrounded by oxygen.

No matter what type of aeroponic system you decide to go with, the system should ALWAYS be run with a filter AND a pre-filter before the water pump. This is because small particulate matter, once clogging any part of the system, will quickly burn out your expensive high pressure water pump. A good friend of mine found this out the hard way- he made a dandy homemade system but did not clean out all of the little PVC shavings from the manufacturing process very well. Unfortunately, he also was not using a filter in-line with his pump. $200.00 mistake!

As long as you are using a filter to protect your pump, any store bought aeroponic system will clog up long before your homemade system will- just look at how big the hole is in the spray emitter compared to a store bought system!

I admit I have not tried the system personally, but the pictures on that particular page are from my friends house (yes, the very same one who made that $200.00 mistake). I was there for it's construction, I was there when we had to make adjustments to the system after our expensive lesson, and I was there to see the very awesome results after the completion of his first crop.

If you follow the directions carefully to avoid making the same mistakes we made (and you provide correct lighting, maintain the nutrients properly, etc.), this aero system is capable of producing the very same results as any store bought aeroponic system. I hope this helps, and Happy Growing!

Comments for Aeroponic System Without Nozzles?

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May 04, 2012
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Constructive criticism NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi I enjoy most of your writing here, but I feel the need to correct your understanding of true aeroponics and mist droplet size. The is a big difference in how the droplets 200micron perform as compared to 50 microns. In a properly setup high pressure or air atomized setup the whole point is to NOT have a thin layer of nutrient film on the roots, otherwise you might as well be doing hydro or nft. That is where the benefits lie, and the fuzzy hp rootstructure grows and makes the roots more efficient. Matter of fact if you were to get the roots too damp the fuzz disappears and you lose the advantage. Also the smaller micron droplets have a large surface area and evaporate en route to the roots which concentrates the nutrients before landing on the roots. There's a whole lot more to it than this, but there is so much misleading info on the subject out there. I know you aim to spread true information and dispell myths, therefore I thought to help you out on the subject. There is a good thread on rollitup.org called "true hp aero for 2011" on the subject that explains all you need to know and also how to build a system if interested. It is a fun way to grow and does have many benefits. Once you know what it's really about, you'll realize it's another world of thinking compared to regular low pressure aero.

Dec 10, 2011
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Clogging Sprays NEW
by: My Aeroponics

I read your article and some of the problems you are having with your sprays getting clogged. I hate bragging but I have not had a spray clog on me since I started my system 11 months ago.
I feel for you that you are going through so much time dealing with your system.
So here is the main problem you are having. One the nutrients you are using are the main problem and the preasure of the pump is the second. This is a guess of coarse since I do not have my hands on your system, but it seems to be the most logical. I have details of what I am doing at http://myaeroponics.com where I share my DIY system.
But I use BMO nutrients found on ebay, no clogging and a 1000gph aquairium pump. Each 20 gallon tub has four sprays that spray all over inside. I have more problems with leaks from the lid because of the volume. But my everyday schedule is keeping the reservoir full and the PPM nUtrient level at 250.

Mar 21, 2010
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PEX tube instead of PVC
by: ProZachJ

I have found that using PEX tubing inside my Rail systems with 1/16 holes is much better than using pvc. The quick disconnect fittings that are available for PEX tubing make dealing with the spray lines much easier. Check out some of the systems I have built using this method at www.urbanhydro.org

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