IIT Kanpur develops a root zone heating system to ensure crop yield in high-altitude areas
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur has yet again come up with an innovative technique to ease the accessibility for people. As per the press release issued by IIT Kanpur, a solar energy-based root zone heating system and vermi-bed method have been developed for ensuring crop yield in high-altitude areas. The move is aimed at combating the scarcity of agricultural produce and the lack of effective organic waste management in the high-altitude areas.
Dual benefits of Polyhouse
A team comprising M.Tech student Anshul Rawat, Prof. Mukesh Sharma, and Prof. Anubha Goel from the Department of Civil Engineering has been granted a patent for this technology.
This novel technology of root zone heating system and vermi-bed method developed by IIT Kanpur researchers is a significant step towards helping especially our defence forces deployed at higher altitudes with fresh vegetable supply and a solution to effectively mitigate organic waste. Read further to know more about the dual benefits of the Polyhouse.
Polyhouse used as heating zone for plant growth
According to the team, the basic premise of the technology is greenhouse (polyhouse) plantation of vegetables and a provision of the heating root zone of the plants. The root zone heating is scientifically studied and modelled by laying a network of Galvanised Iron (GI) pipes below the ground carrying solar-heated water and by integrating aluminium sheet fins with the buried GI pipes to enhance the heat transfer.
During the field test, a significant soil temperature increase from 7˚C to 18˚C was achieved through hot water being flown inside the GI pipes, enhancing the overall plant growth in an enclosed system. Such a system in high-altitude areas can better the cropping cycle to produce fresh vegetables even in extreme conditions.
Polyhouse used as heating zone for waste management
To resolve the issue of waste management, on-site treatment of organic waste by vermicomposting was also carried out inside the polyhouse in a pit, wherein additional heat was provided to the vermi-bed by running hot water through buried rubber pipes.
Thus, developing a system where vegetables can be grown and waste generated can be converted into compost. Providing solutions for producing nearly zero waste, this system signifies a symbiotic system with an inbuilt circular economy.