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It is not fully understood by newcomers to hydroponic growing that there are many unforeseen advantages to be exploited by the judicious grower.
It is most likely recognized by most that traditional 'in the soil' greenhouse growers, heat their houses and most believe that the object of this is to keep the ambient air temperature up to allow 'out of season ' plants such as Tomato - Curcubits etc to continue to grow during cold weather. While this obviously may be the case, the more important reason is to attempt to maintain the temperature of the soil, for once that falls markedly below 18C, then plants slow down their metabolism and very soon just stop growing, even though throughout the day the sun may heat the air in the greenhouse, unless it also maintains the soil temperature above the minimum requirement of 18C then production is going to stop.

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In hydroponic systems then, in order to maintain the root zone of the plant at the optimum temperature to promote top growth performance we heat the nutrient to a minimum of 18C and up to the optimum temperature for a particular species or as a result of a cost/benefit analysis.

Nutrient can be heated in several ways, however it is important that it not be exposed to excessive temperatures since precipitation can occur that will destroy the integrity of the nutrient formula.

For this reason 'water to nutrient' heat exchangers are the preferred method of heating and often hot water boilers are utilized for this purpose 'However' the development over the past 30 years of refrigeration based heat pumps has seen the availability of a wide range of equipment allowing the judicious sizing of electrically powered heat pumps to efficiently achieve the nutrient heating job.

Warm nutrient circulating around an NFT system not only maintains the root zone at ideal temperatures but also sees some escaping heat to rise up past the plants thereby offering a modicum of protection agains the cold - obviously if you are growing in a very cold location then some air heating will probably also be required however the input from the nutrient heating should be deducted from the overall heating requirement calculations.
All heat pump systems would be sized and
quoted accordingly - you would need to advise us of all the parameters including your electricity supply details.
The photo's give some indication of the wide range of models available - stock units from 9 to 50Kw and then sizes for 100Kw to 200Kw built to order.

Note - All these models are also perfect for the economical heating of your swiming pool

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