United States Patent and Trademark Office – Confirmation No. 1689 – Filing Receipt – pdf format 038922.00001_Official Filing Receipt

Filing Date 11/10/2017


Apparatus and methods for a hydroponics system with integrated grow lights are
presented herein. By attaching the light source and the heat producing components of a
horticulture lighting system to one or more hydroponics pans, heat can be recycled into
the system. The recycled heat can be transferred to a circulating water supply for
providing nutrient rich minerals at the roots of plants. Additionally, the heat can be
transferred via the pans and without the need for costly fans or specialized heat sinks. In
this way more space can be availed for the production of plants while recycling energy in
the form of transferred heat.

Inventor:         Ray, James S., Jr. (Cary, NC)

Application#:  Patent Application

Filed:               11/10/2017

System for Controlled Environment Agriculture to Maximize
Efficiency, Production, and Sustainability

A system for controlled environment agriculture has been created that eliminates
traditional cooling mechanisms by replacing those others systems with cooling towers
from a hydroponic system of interlocking stacked pans in modular and scalable racks.
The disclosure teaches an apparatus and method for the assembly of a controllable
agricultural environment in thermal contact with light emitting diodes (LEDs). The
assembly includes a system of racks and stacked pans arranged so as to increase plant
growing area within a fixed footprint. A nutrient rich hydroponic solution is circulated
so as to deliver nutrients to the plant roots and to provide a thermally conductive
medium transferring heat from the LEDs to the plants. This in turn leads to an
improved agricultural environment where the roots receive nutrient rich oxygenated
water at controllable temperatures.

Abstract To The Appendix
A system for controlled environment agriculture combines elements of mechanical and
electrical design resulting in scalability and sustainability for agricultural production off
the grid in a closed loop with network addressable components. The mechanical design
includes a system of racks and stacked pans that increase the grow area without
increasing the footprint, circulates the hydroponic solution that provides nutrients to the
plants, maintains thermodynamic equilibrium of the water at the plant roots, transfers
heat away from the light sources including Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), and
oxygenates the water. The electrical design focuses on 5 items:

  1. remote monitoring of grow areas using network addressable devices with Internet
    of Things (IoT)
  2. the particular wavelengths of light needed by the plants for photosynthesis
  3. minimization of energy used by those lights with specific quantum generated
    frequencies that reduce the BTU per Watt of photons incident on the plant canopy
    compared to other lighting technology
  4. control of system components (lights, valves, pumps, sensors)
  5. power distribution using low voltage that individuals may install safely without
    permits using solar cells and batteries that operate off the grid

The agricultural design leverages floating trays or other media in a hydroponic solution
with microgreens that grow in one week instead of one year. The prototypes have
evolved into a scalable and sustainable design unique to the industry.