ROOT ZONE TEMPERATURE OPTIMIZATION (RZTO)
Root temperatures influence all parameters of the plant’s physiology and an optimum Root Zone Temperature (RZT) range is essential for a plant’s robust growth, productivity and quality.
The RZTO system cools and heats roots as needed, depending on input from the temperature sensor placed within the root zone area. The systems is able to maintain an optimum range of temperatures (usually between 16-28 Degrees celsius ) year round regardless of air temperatures.
• Dramatically reduce energy costs and environmental pollution. Optimal RZTO minimizes the need for heating/cooling the plants themselves significantly. Thus, growers can lower (or increase) the thermostats on their air heating/cooling systems if they incorporate Roots’ systems.
• Increased yield. Our field test results and commercial installations feedback point to a pattern of yield increase 20% to 250% compared between un-cooled and un-heated crops.
• Superior crop quality: The results indicate that the fruits and vegetables grown with RZTO tend to be larger, tastier, and mature earlier than the control groups.
• Faster time to market: To date, field tests conducted with lettuce, leafy vegetables, herbs, and flowers resulted in a significant shortening of the growing cycle, thus achieving excellent prices.
• Planting off-season: Due to our smart root cooling system, we
successfully planted flowers in hot climate areas earlier or plant earlier after the winder due to substrate heating.
• Irrigation savings: Enhanced moisture retention in the soil in cooled beds during the summer reduces irrigation rates.
• Reduction in the use of Pesticides – keeping the plant’s root zone temperature in an optimal range helps the plant resist infestation and improves the plant’s immune system; thus the need for expensive and environmentally damaging pesticides can be reduced.
Heat Pumps (either electric or gas) coupled with a monitoring and control system and water tank. The system cools or heats water in a tank, and the water is circulated in a closed cycle in pipes and through a T shaped heat exchange probe placed in any substrate. This provides the most accurate range of root zone temperatures year round.
Systems configurations come with monitoring and control equipment available for viewing in app on mobile phone and PC.
Heat pumps have higher energy consumption compared to GSHE, (still providing 80% saving vs. air heating and cooling) but they can be programmed to provide a very accurate root zone temperature range as needed. Heat pumps work only when the root zone area exeeds a pre-determined range.
It is also possible to install a hybrid system that incorporates both GSHE and a heat pump. In this configuration, the heat pump is used only during extreme heat or cold spells adding extra cold or heat on top of the water temperatures existing in the GSHE. Thus the overall energy consumption of the hybrid system is relatively small. The GSHE system, relying on free underground heat exchange between the soil and the water circulating in the coils, consumes the least amount of energy as it relies only on a water circulation pump for its operation.