Saturday, September 29, 2012


WApU = Window Aquaponics Unit

As part of our way of learning about aquaponics systems and moving forward we all decided to construct window-units in our apartments. This is the first in a series of posts I will make showing the progress of my WApU = Window Aquaponics Unit.

One of the windows in my living room faces approximately south. I have yet to finish the shading diagram to determine exactly how many hours of sun falls on the windows, but this first image shows accumulated solar radiation between October 1 and April 30, where red is the peak (Analysis performed in DIVA for Rhino).

The red area above will be where I will construct the planters. I'm going to plant kale and maybe other leafy greens that can handle 3-6 hrs of direct sun (I hope I will get this much). For the planters I plan to revisit a project I did at University of Michigan. The project proposed a flower farm in a favela in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to increase water retention and provide an economic opportunity for the neighborhood.

As part of that process, a colleague, Charlie Starr, and I designed a system for reusing soda bottles as hanging planters. It seems like this project could be a great way of incorporating the design research from that project into a working prototype.
So, today, Kyle and I bought the fish tank system to start the process. 
This is a 20gal (long) tank with aerator, filtration unit and pump with 10 feet of tubing to eventually feed the upper system. All three elements draw a total of 122.5W. I'll probably get a timer for at least the pump.

The system will run for a week, then we will introduce a few fish (likely goldfish for now). They will probably die. We will re-stock. Goldfish can stand cooler temperatures but if I want to introduce tropical fish I may need to add a heater. 
More to come.

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