Advantages of FRT
Large volume of water creates buffer for fertilization, oxygenation, and water temperature regulation
Cost-effective and efficient transportation of plants
Excellent space utilization and fast crop turnover (up to 24 leaf-lettuce crops per year)
Complete utilization of nutrient solution with no waste
Ability to mechanize and automate traditionally manual operations
Intuitive technology reduces team member training time
- Minimal use of water
- No wasted nutrients
- Reduced concern of pests and diseases
- Optimizes energy management and conservation
- Computer-assisted production and monitoring
- Floating rafts limit evaporation of pool water, keeping humidity levels low
Ideal growing system for:
- Lettuces like butterhead, batavia, curly, romaine, leaf, and crisp
- Most low-profile leafy vegetables & herbs including arugula, kale, spinach, mache, basil, and baby lettuces.
- Plant cuttings for propagation
Floating Raft Technology
Hydronov is the developer of a revolutionary growing technique, Floating Raft Technology (FRT), for vegetables and flowers.
Floating Raft Technology (FRT) is the most water-conscious system among existing hydroponic growing systems. One of its key features is the use of a large volume of water, allowing a buffer for fertilization and oxygen control, as well as using flotation to economically transport the plants. This large buffer brings a level of security and ease that no other growing system can match.
With FRT, absolutely no water is lost through the soil or growing media.
There is no direct evaporation by the sun, no dumping of growing solution, and no dripping gutters. Only the water needed by the plants is used, making FRT the most economical system in terms of water use.
FRT leads to much higher productivity.
With FRT, up to 18 crops per year of single head lettuce can be grown, at an average head weight of 200 grams. In comparison, the best soil-based greenhouse growers can only produce five crops per year. No herbicides or fungicides are ever needed.
FRT allows for an integrated Harvest Transportation System within the facility, simply by using the water as a raft conveyor system.
Conveyors transport the harvested lettuce into a service building, where it is packed per customer specifications and kept in cold storage until shipment.
In a change from traditional greenhouse operations, Hydronov’s Floating Raft Technology (FRT) allows the produce to move smoothly and easily from seeding to harvest. The produce moves to the greenhouse employees, allowing them to stay at their workstations. The crop comes right to them!
The produce moves throughout the facility on the floating rafts, eliminating the costs associated with mechanical conveyors. Hydronov’s specially designed equipment facilitates processing at different growing stages. The end result: an efficient growing process performed by a reduced crew. We estimate 5 employees per acre, depending on the type of produce grown and the type of packaging.
Hydronov’s exclusive Floating Raft Technology is the cornerstone of your facility. These rafts hold the media and seeds through planting, germination, growth, and harvesting. After harvest, the rafts are washed, sanitized, dried, and reused. The Expanded Polystyrene material adds an R-6 insulation layer to the pool, reducing water chilling costs by approximately 25%. Some clients report their rafts lasting 10+ years.