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Design of a Modified Hydroponic Shipping Container

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1801397.(doi:10.13031/aim.201801397)
Authors:   Jack Houtman, Rachel Sparks, Robert M Stwalley, III
Keywords:   Controlled Environment, Energy, Hydroponics


This project began as a Purdue University ABE senior design capstone project and continued into two master‘s thesis projects roughly differentiated between design and construction. The unit was designed to be a research investigative tool for the Purdue ABE Urban Agriculture Initiative. The design objectives for the unit were established through a collaborative effort with interested stakeholders. An engineering model was crafted to examine the thermal energy balance for the shipping container, and the structural energy pathway and the convective ventilation energy pathway were identified as major components critical to the overall heat transfer in the unit. The design of the specific hydroponic system for the unit was a key effort. Versatility in operation and variability in the selection of multiple independent hydroponic system growth metrics were essential to the final design.

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